Bitcoin faces fresh scrutiny as police call for new powers to freeze crypto assets in the U.K.

Bitcoin is under scrutiny in the UK as the country’s largest police force called for new powers to freeze cryptocurrency assets just days after financial regulators said many crypto companies were failing to comply with anti-money laundering standards.

London Metropolitan Police detectives, also known by the name of their headquarters Scotland Yard, aim to freeze criminals’ crypto assets in the same way that they can prevent them from transferring funds. reported the Times of London on Monday.

According to the report, the police service is also campaigning for government changes to make it difficult for criminals to transfer crypto assets.

Also read: “Irresponsible” Bitcoin advertising banned for misleading

“The talks we’re having is about how we can align cryptocurrency with the same approach we have to cash-based crime,” Mick Gallagher, detective chief superintendent at Scotland Yard’s central command, told the Times . “Cryptocurrency is invisible, it is immediately available, it goes around the world, it is not tangible.”

Crypto assets like bitcoin
BTCUSD, -0.38%

BTCUSD, -0.38%,
ETHUSD, + 1.24%,
and even Dogecoin
DOGUSD, -3.58%,
can be bought, sold and sent anonymously, as transactions are encrypted with a decentralized ledger technology, the so-called blockchain.

Because these assets are not issued or controlled by any central bank or agency, their use is largely unregulated and beyond the control of the government. As such, they can be a popular money laundering tool for criminals.

Plus: “Overconfidence”: Why it is mainly men under 30 who trade Bitcoin

Scotland Yard’s call for new powers to curb money laundering using cryptos comes just days after a warning about the practice of the Financial Conduct Authority, the UK’s financial regulator and regulator.

On June 3, the FCA said a “high number of” Crypto companies do not meet the required standards according to money laundering regulations. The announcement came when the regulator postponed the deadline by which existing crypto companies must register by eight months.

Earlier this year, the head of the European Central Bank called for the global regulation of Bitcoin, said multilateral action is needed to stop “funny deals” and money laundering. Christine Lagarde, Speech at a conference on January 13th, said that Bitcoin “did some fun deals and some interesting and totally reprehensible money laundering activity”.

Read: Police searched a suspected cannabis farm only to find an illegal bitcoin mining operation: reports

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