On 30 July 2019, the Financial Markets Law Committee (FMLC) published a letter it had sent to HM Treasury concerning the implementation of the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) and cryptoassets.

The FMLC highlights discrepancies between the definition of ‘virtual currencies’ provided for in Article 1(2)(d) of 5MLD and the non-legislative definition adopted by UK authorities following the Cryptoassets Taskforce policy paper in 2018. In light of this, the FMLC offers the following definition that encompasses the presumed legislative intention to capture paradigmatic and well-established exchange tokens such as Bitcoin:

“a digital representation of value that is not issued or guaranteed by a central bank or a public authority, is not necessarily attached to a legally established currency and does not possess a legal status of sovereign flat currency, but is accepted by natural or legal persons as a means of exchange and which can be transferred, stored and traded electronically.”