G20 nations agree to regulate crypto in line with FATF rules

Members of the G20 international forum have signed a joint declaration that establishes, among other things, the adoption of regulations for cryptocurrencies, in line with standards set forth by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Various media outlets reported that the statement was signed at the conclusion of G20 talks during the weekend, in which concerns such as climate change, sustainable development, gender equality, and movement of refugees were also addressed.

Part of the document read, “An open and resilient financial system, grounded in agreed international standards, is crucial to support sustainable growth… We will regulate crypto-assets for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism in line with FATF standards and we will consider other responses as needed.”

Related to this, the G20 nations also committed to “continue to work together to seek a consensus based solution to address the impacts of the digitalization of the economy on the international tax system with an update in 2019 and a final report by 2020.”

The FATF consists of 37 member nations. Last October it had set the requiring of its standards to be applied in jurisdictions by June of next year. Under these regulations, cryptocurrency-related entities such as wallet providers, cryptocurrency exchanges, and those holding initial coin offerings (ICOs) will be required to conduct customer due diligence, which includes monitoring and reporting of transactions deemed suspicious.

Countries that fail to meet such standards, as determined by the task force’s periodic reviews, risk being placed in its blacklist.

The G20 includes the European Union (EU) and 19 countries, most of which are represented in the FATF as well, including Argentina, Australia, Japan, the UK, and the U.S.

Reacting to G20’s latest declaration, Bobby Lee, co-founder of the BTCC exchange, tweeted that “national governments are slowly but surely losing their monopoly and ability to issue fiat money.”

In connection with pronouncements and actions by the FATF and G20, individual countries such as Japan and Thailand, as well as individual U.S. states, are already pursuing their own financial reforms taking into account cryptocurrency markets and blockchain technology.

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Int’l watchdog readies crypto-related AML rules for June 2019 rollout

By June 2019, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will start requiring jurisdictions around the world to regulate cryptocurrency-related companies—from exchanges to wallet services and even initial coin offerings (ICOs)—all in a bid to stem the use of virtual currencies for criminal activities like money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Paris-based intergovernmental organization announced last week that it has amended its global Standards “to address the regulation of virtual assets,” noting that there is an “urgent need for an effective, global, risk-based response to the AML/CFT [anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism] risks associated with virtual asset financial activities.”

Under the changes to FATF global standards, crypto exchanges, certain types of wallet providers and providers of financial services for ICOs will be subjected to AML/CFT regulations, such as conducting customer due diligence including ongoing monitoring, record-keeping, and reporting of suspicious transactions.

“By June, we will issue additional instructions on the standards and how we expect them to be enforced,” Marshall Billingslea, president of FATF, told Reuters.

The FATF will conduct periodic reviews after the regulations are enforced, and countries that fall short risk being blacklisted by the organization.

“Some jurisdictions already regulate virtual asset activity in accordance with the 2015 guidance,” FATF said, noting that the updates to FATF’s Standards are “largely compatible with their existing regulatory requirements.”

Watchdogs like FATF, which claimed to have been monitoring the so-called risks in the crypto space for several years already, may have missed the reports showing most crime are still happening in the fiat world. Just recently, a report by undercover journalists in 12 countries revealed that banks across Europe helped their clients illegally take $63 billion in taxes. Involved in the scheme, according to the report, are Barclays, JPMorgan, BMP Paribas, UBS, Morgan Stanley, Banco Santander, Meryl Lynch, Deutsche Bank and SEB bank out Sweden.

So why is crypto still the bad guy?

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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