Financial privacy

Legally required financial surveillance is often in tension with the fundamental right to privacy. This is especially true in crypto-finance, where the problem is amplified by transparency of public blockchains. We explore the tension between privacy rights and law enforcement.

EU financial surveillance and fundamental rights

By Dr Mikołaj Barczentewicz

Some key features of the current regulatory financial surveillance framework in the EU, including anti-money laundering measures like the ‘travel rule’, may be - at least partially - incompatible with the EU’s own constitutional (fundamental) law. One of the key problems is that there is insufficient reliable evidence that those rules are proportionate (i.e. that they work as they should), which makes it urgent to explore alternative ways for fighting crime, instead of extending the current rules to new cases (e.g. transactions with non-custodial wallets).


  • My Twitter thread from 29 June 2022.
  • “Why the EU’s Rushed ‘Travel Rule’ for Crypto Should Be Struck Down” (Coindesk, Yahoo, 25 July 2022)
  • “Privacy, Crypto, and EU Financial Surveillance” (Truth on the Market, 11 July 2022)
  • My comments on self-custody and the EU Transfer of Funds Regulation quoted in “Crypto winter teaches tough lessons about custody and taking control” (Cointelegraph, 2 September 2022)