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Bitcoin Legal in Netherlands, Prosecutors Speed Up Laundering Investigations

The legality of Bitcoin is clearly defined by several regulatory frameworks established by the Dutch lawmakers. However, local prosecutors and law enforcement agencies are leading various cases involving money laundering and the usage of bitcoin, to ensure that the digital currency is not utilized in any criminal activities.

Similar to other law enforcement agencies including Interpol, the Dutch public prosecution department and police are allocating a significant amount of resources and capital to crackdown on criminals using bitcoin to conduct illegal operations.

Dutch Prosecutor Looks Into Three Pending Bitcoin Cases

At the moment, local publications including Financieele Dagblad state that there are three pending cases involving money laundering and bitcoin in the country that are being actively investigated by the Dutch law enforcement.

All three cases currently being handled by the Dutch public prosecution office involves different illegal activities revolving around the digital currency. The first case that is set to be heard on February 6 involves two men who laundered several transaction amounting to US$2.5 million using bitcoin.

The second and the last case that will be heard in the Dutch court at the end of 2017 involve significantly larger operations in size compared to the first case. The second case looks into four Dutch men that established and operated a bitcoin exchange which converts the digital currency into euro.

While serving its clients, the four men failed to obtain a license and declined to comply with local regulations. Local law enforcement was forced to shut down the operation and pass the case to the Dutch public prosecution office to charge all four men involved in the illegal and unregulated bitcoin exchange.

Importance of Remaining Compliant With Local Regulations

In other leading bitcoin markets like China, such cases are seen on fewer occasions as exchanges collaborate with lawmakers and the central bank to ensure each of their service remains compliant with local financial and money transmission frameworks.

Securing a tight relationship with lawmakers and collaborating actively with the central bank is necessary, especially for large-scale exchanges that process millions of dollars on a daily basis. Ultimately, a trading platform’s failure to comply with local regulations will place a heavy burden on users, which puts further emphasis on the importance of regulatory compliance.

For instance, BTCC, the world’s largest and longest running bitcoin exchange recently stated:

“BTCC regularly meets with the People’s Bank of China and we work closely with them to ensure that we are operating in accordance with the laws and regulations of China. As the longest running exchange in the world, we have always adhered to strict AML/KYC policies and continue to be compliant with all current regulations in China.”

As the bitcoin exchange market and infrastructure develop in the Netherlands, fewer cases of bitcoin money laundering and operation of illegal bitcoin trading platforms will be seen. After the initial phase of market adoption passes, the Dutch market will see an emergence of robust and reliable trading platforms that are compliant with both local and global financial regulations and policies.

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Source: Financeele Dagblad, Image Via: Borongaja