In a significant move towards strengthening regulation of the cryptocurrency market, the United Kingdom has just announced the implementation of stricter rules against the illicit use of these assets.

From April 26, 2024, new legislation comes into force that allows authorities to freeze crypto assets associated with criminal activity, marking an important milestone in the fight against financial crime.

The Statutory Instrument, unveiled on February 29, modifies the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023. This amendment gives authorities the power to seize suspected cryptocurrencies without the need for a prior conviction. With this measure, the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency sees its powers expanded and can now confiscate and retain digital assets potentially linked to illegal transactions and other criminal activities.

The new legislation allows British police forces to act directly, enabling the recovery of cryptocurrencies from exchanges and custodial wallet providers without going through lengthy legal processes. In extreme cases, authorities may even destroy seized assets if they deem it necessary.

These measures are part of a wider UK strategy to establish a more robust and clear regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency sector. In October last year, Her Majesty’s Treasury had already indicated plans to introduce more defined regulations in 2024, with the aim of providing greater certainty and transparency for investors and market participants.

During an event hosted by Coinbase in London, Bim Afolami from HMT Economic Treasury shared perspectives on the UK’s view on cryptocurrency regulation. The country is committed to establishing new rules to govern stablecoins and other cryptocurrencies over the next six months.

Afolami highlighted: “We are very clear that we want these things to be done as quickly as possible. And I think in the next six months, these things will be doable.”


The views and opinions expressed by the author, or anyone mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment or other advice. Investing or trading cryptocurrencies carries a risk of financial loss.


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