• The House of Commons witnessed the bill's first hearing Thursday
  • The next hearing will take place on Oct. 13
  • The bill follows in the footsteps of the Economic Crime Act

Authorities from the U.K. have taken a step further to ensure that cryptocurrencies tied to illicit activities like money laundering, hacks and terrorism are seized, frozen and recovered with the introduction of a new law.

The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency bill, which is around 250 pages long, was first hinted at in the month of May when King Charles III, formerly known as Prince Charles, promised laws on economic crime and financial services as he formally opened the new session of Parliament.

The bill, introduced by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Home Office, Serious Fraud Office and Treasury, will cover more than just cryptocurrencies. The first hearing of the bill was witnessed in the House of Commons Thursday, and the next hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 13.

"Domestic and international criminals have for years laundered the proceeds of their crime and corruption by abusing U.K. company structures, and are increasingly using cryptocurrencies," Graeme Biggar, director general of the National Crime Agency, said, as per the U.K. government's news release. "These reforms – long awaited and much welcomed – will help us crack down on both."

The bill follows in the footsteps of the earlier Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act, which played a crucial role in establishing sanctions against Russia and freezing relevant assets in the region. Authorities have been worried recently if cryptocurrencies are being used to evade sanctions by Russian entities.

Interestingly, U.K. authorities have become quite active in the crypto space recently due to a number of incidents surrounding illicit uses of digital assets. In June, for instance, the Metropolitan Police seized around 180 million British pounds ($200 million) worth of crypto linked to international money laundering, according to BBC News.

Clients of a crashed crypto lender Celsius are fighting to get their money back
Clients of a crashed crypto lender Celsius are fighting to get their money back AFP / Justin TALLIS