On July 9, 2018, the EU's Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive took effect to strengthen the European Union’s existing regulations fighting both money laundering and terrorism financing. The deadline for all European Union members to integrate this directive within their respective nation’s legal framework is January 20, 2020. The EU is attempting to reinforce the collective efforts made by the European community to render digital currencies more transparent so that related criminal abuses are greatly reduced. “The 5th Anti-Money laundering directive will make the fight against money laundering more efficient. We must close all loopholes: gaps in one Member State will have an impact on all others,” explained Věra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality. The directive will facilitate information exchanges between the involved authorities and allow for “closer cooperation between national Financial Intelligence Units.” The Irish Government has approved the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, reported the Irish Times on January 3, 2019. To fully support the new European directive, Ireland has proposed the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Bill 2019, whose purpose is to toughen existing legislation and further restrict the use of “virtual currencies for terrorist financing.” These limitations will restrict the use of anonymous pre-paid cards such as the ones employed to rent cars during the 2015 Paris attacks, as well as the use of anonymous payments through virtual currency exchange platforms; force banks to conduct stricter due diligence regarding new clients; and give the Garda and the Criminal Assets Bureau access to bank records during money laundering investigations. “The reality is that money laundering is a crime that helps serious criminals and terrorists to function, destroying lives in the process… Criminals seek to exploit the EU’s open borders and EU-wide measures are vital for that reason. Ireland strongly supports the provisions in the fifth EU money laundering directive,” stated Irish Minister of Justice Charlie Flanagan, reflecting the Irish government’s desire to implement the EU directive and impose stricter transparency on cryptocurrency uses. The Bill has yet to be passed, but Ireland’s determination to regulate virtual currencies is clear. Cryptocurrencies have been offered new routes in the past month by European institutions. The European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum stated that “putting digital versions of national currencies on the blockchain means they could then become integral parts of smart contracts. That would unlock much of the potential innovation of blockchain by allowing parties to create automated agreements, including direct transactions in these currencies, instead of having to use a cryptocurrency as a proxy.” Revolut, a crypto-friendly banking app, acquired an EU banking license from the Bank of Lithuania in December. It would allow for its users in four EU countries to get a “true current account and a non-prepaid debit card.”