The Financial Action Task Force is planning to introduce rules for cryptocurrency exchanges, according to Reuters. The report cites a Japanese government official who is familiar with the matter. The official commented on condition of anonymity.
The FATF, also known as the Groupe d’action financière, is an inter-governmental organisation whose remit is helping governments develop policies to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. It was created in 1989 by the then-G7 and is based in Paris.
The organisation has 37 member countries and eight other associated groups, such as the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering and the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America. The FATF also maintains a blacklist of non-cooperative and high-risk countries (currently numbering 12) that it deems to not be contributing to the greater good.
At of February 2018, cryptocurrency has officially been on the FATF radar. At its Paris meeting that month the group said in a statement that it was important to understand how the new assets bring risks in relation to money laundering, as reported by Bitcoin.com.
In March, the G20 issued a communique in which it said: “We commit to implement the FATF standards as they apply to crypto-assets, look forward to the FATF review of those standards, and call on the FATF to advance global implementation.”
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Japan was one of the countries that actually called on the G20 to discuss the subject at that meeting, which took place in Buenos Aires. The governments of Germany, France and China also expressed an interest in getting something sorted out.
The group released a 48-page ‘guidance’ on the subject in 2015. However this document sought to apply existing legal standards to cryptocurrency, and because said standards do not specifically apply to cryptocurrency, room was left for some interpretation as to their application by member states.
However the guidance does ‘recommend’ that cryptocurrency exchanges be registered, that customer identities be verified, and that suspicious activity be reported.
Reuters reports that on the 24th of June, the FATF will begin its cryptocurrency-specific discussions in earnest. It will re-examine the existing rules to see if they are still relevant and will decide what to do about countries that have decided to ban cryptocurrency trading.