The European Central Bank has proposed a new model to deal with cryptocurrencies, especially the AML risks associated with them. The ECB also clarified that it it not looking to creating its own coin.
The new proposed payment system is called EUROchain and is a simplified CBDC payment type of service. Under this new model, all users will be able to maintain their privacy for lower-value transactions. In addition, the transactions of higher value will remain subject to the normal CFT/AML procedures. How this will work is by “anonymity vouchers”, allowing the users to transfer in an anonymous way a limited amount of the central-backed digital coin over a specified time period, for instance $2,000 per week.
The interesting thing is that for transactions of low value, the central bank and any intermediaries will not be able to see the identity and transaction history of the user. The “ceiling” of this “invisibility” is up to the limit of the amount and time of the voucher.
The enforcement of all limits is an automated process, while additional checks are entrusted to AML compliance authorities. These could decide to reject transactions to banned users.
The new proposed system uses the idea of “controllable anonymity” for cryptocurrency transactions. The system is not seeking to gain full control of the users’ information, but keep the balance between regulatory frameworks such as anti-money-laundering actions and the right of the user to preserve certain amount of privacy.
The ECB’s system will not be based entirely on blockchain, but will be developed by the Eurosystem’s EUROchain research network. Accenture and R3 will support the development of the project through distributed ledger technology.
For now, there is no clarity as to how the new system might take off and work. However, the ECB commented that the proof-of-concept step will be very instrumental in any assessment of the system and specific technical features required.
More about ECB can be found here: