Crypto Surrender: Welcome to the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, a new law that went into effect in April allows the government to seize cryptocurrency assets from individuals suspected of criminal activity without arresting or charging them. The change is a result of amendments to the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act, which updated confiscation regimes in the Proceeds of Crime Act. Under the new law, authorities can also seize physical items related to cryptocurrency investigations. The law allows for the destruction of crypto assets if returning them to circulation is not deemed to be in the public interest, although the specifics of how this destruction will occur have not been detailed. The purpose of these measures is to combat money laundering through cryptocurrencies. Critics argue that seizing assets without evidence of a crime is an infringement on civil liberties and could be exploited for personal or political gain.

The power to seize assets without charging individuals with an offense has long been a contentious issue in the UK. When police suspect someone of criminal activity, they have the authority to seize assets, including cash, vehicles, and now cryptocurrencies, related to the suspected activity. While it is not surprising that this approach has been extended to cryptocurrencies, it raises concerns about presumption of innocence and the potential for abuse of power. The ability to seize assets at an earlier stage in an investigation increases the risk of unjustified seizures. The law does not address the issue of selling seized cryptocurrencies for cash, which could result in victims losing out on potential increases in value if the assets are sold prematurely.

The new powers granted to law enforcement will be primarily used in cases of fraud and drug offenses. The hope is that these powers will streamline the process for victims of fraud seeking remedies and prevent the dissipation of assets from large drug operations. It is unclear why it took so long for parliament to enact these powers, given that the common law alone has been unable to address all the problems surrounding cryptocurrencies. The lack of provisions for UK law enforcement to share information with global agencies when assets are transferred to other jurisdictions creates a risk of losing control over the assets.

The new seizure regime raises concerns about individual civil liberties and the erosion of due process. It remains to be seen how vigorously authorities will use these powers and whether they will be utilized ethically and responsibly.

Cyril Dipalma

Cyril Dipalma

12 thoughts on “Crypto Surrender: Welcome to the United Kingdom

  1. The lack of provisions to share information with global agencies poses a serious risk of losing control over the seized assets. This is a major oversight.

  2. Why did it take so long for parliament to enact these powers? Cryptocurrencies have been around for quite some time now, and it’s surprising that it has taken this long to address the issues surrounding them. ⏰🤷‍♀️

  3. These new powers only add to the erosion of due process. When will the government stop trampling on our rights?

  4. It’s obvious that this law will be exploited for personal and political gain. What a disgrace!

  5. I can’t believe they can just destroy crypto assets if they don’t deem it to be in the public interest. Who decides what’s in the public interest? This is completely arbitrary.

  6. Seizing assets before even charging someone with a crime is a direct attack on the presumption of innocence. This is a dangerous precedent.

  7. It’s concerning that the law does not address the potential loss of value for victims if their seized cryptocurrencies are sold prematurely. Victims should not suffer because of this law.

  8. It’s troubling that the law does not address the selling of seized cryptocurrencies for cash. Victims could potentially miss out on profits if assets are sold prematurely. There should be clear guidelines in place to protect their interests.

  9. This new law is a clear violation of civil liberties! Seizing assets without charging individuals with a crime is a slippery slope towards tyranny.

  10. Overall, it’s important to monitor how these new powers are used and whether they are effective in achieving their intended goals. Time will tell if this law will be a success or if adjustments need to be made.

  11. I hope law enforcement authorities will use these new powers ethically and responsibly. It’s crucial to maintain due process and ensure innocent individuals are not negatively impacted. 🌟🤞

  12. It’s scary to think that authorities can now seize physical items related to cryptocurrency investigations. This can easily be abused and lead to wrongful seizures.

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