You may recall that a Report was produced by Jakob Von Weizsäcker to set up a Virtual Currency Taskforce. This is being voted on today in the EU Parliament. If passed (which is most likely) it will pass to the EU Commission for consideration.
The suggestions in the Report are fairly pragmatic: on the one hand sanctioning that VC exchanges be captured by the 4th AMLD, on the other hand envisioning that no new regulations be devised in this area. Instead, that the EU bodies monitor, through a Task Force, the evolving market and technology and be ready to “act swiftly and forcefully if need be before applications [become] systemic”.
In response to a prompt by the EU parliamentary press team if Mr. Von Weizsacker was concerned by the use of VC for money laundering, he replied: “With a little forensic talent, it tends to be much easier to trace illicit transactions with virtual currencies than with cash. So in terms of transparency, it stands in the middle between a normal bank transfer and cash, which is truly anonymous.” Further one can say quite confidently that Jakob recognises the duality of bitcoin; in the same vein of presenting an AML risk, they can be used, as he said, to combat VAT fraud.