G20 Summit to Impose Strict FAFT Regulations on Cryptocurrency, Puts Decentralization at Risk

The Financial Action Task Force, also known by its French name, Groupe d’action financière, is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1989. Their primary goal is to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system.

Currently, there are 37 members countries of FAFT. The G20 is an International Forum of the leading economies of the world which primarily entertains financial issues on its platform. The Financial Stability Board (FSB) of G20 has suggested that; while cryptocurrencies do not pose any severe economic instability issues that this point, strict laws must be imposed for consumer and investor protection, anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT).

Reportedly, the new recommendations “will be formally adopted as part of the FATF Standards in June 2019.”

New FAFT Recommendations

The new recommendations suggest that the Governments in different countries should consider virtual assets as “property,” “proceeds,” “funds,” “funds or other assets,” or other “corresponding value.” This reiterates the proposition of imposing long-term and the short-term asset valuation to be applicable on cryptocurrencies.

VASPs –  ‘virtual assets and virtual asset service providers’ are private or public entities that deal in crypto-assets. The new recommendations plan to impose strict regulations on such firms. A decision to impose mandatory licensing requirements and inspection of the owners and managers of the VASP is essential to avoid dubious personnel from benefitting from the industry.

Moreover, the VASPs or Exchanges, or wallet providers will now be required to exchange the details of the beneficiary and the initiator with each other and with the authorities on request. The new recommendations noted that,

Countries should ensure that originating VASPs obtain and hold required and accurate originator information and required beneficiary information on virtual asset transfers, submit the above information to beneficiary VASPs and counterparts (if any), and make it available on request to appropriate authorities.

Nevertheless, it also mentioned that it not “necessary to directly attach the information with a virtual asset transfer.” However, the countries must ensure that such information system is established which also deters fraudulent transactions, taking freezing action and prohibiting transactions with designated persons and entities.

The recommendations would involve cooperation between the Governments and Exchanges. However, there are many open source wallets and programs that could be adversely affected by the move.

Do you think that the new regulations will affect the cryptocurrency markets? Please share your views with us. 

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