Crypto and FATF: FinCEN sees some problems

One of the most widely discussed issues is currently the rules implemented by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) that touch crypto transactions exceeding a certain amount.

New rules for crypto be FATF will enter into force in summer. These would be the updates to the existing 16th FATF Recommendation that touches domestic and cross border electronic exchanges, and they aim at counteracting money laundering and financing terrorism with growth of the crypto industry. The new FATF rule may have consequences for Virtual assets service providers (VASP) including crypto exchanges and providers of wallets and storages.

The Financial entities in the countries-members of the task force are recommended to implement the new regulation standards in a year. The Regulator started to review digital assets in 2014, and defining the conditions was always the main issue for task force. As the director for policy in the International Chamber of digital trading Amy Davin Kim explained, cyber security and transaction confidentiality are still residing concerns regarding the new rule.

Since the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has published recommendations in order to warn financial entities of the increasing number of frauds and AML-operations intended to detect these frauds during the pandemic.

Cybercrimes as a cause for concern. FinCEN is still taking a neutral stance regarding the attitude towards the technology as most the problems arise from wrong management and processing, not from the technology itself. Kennet Blanco, the CEO, reported, “We are going to publish several recommendations clarifying common types of some regular scams, stealing and money laundering schemes that appeared due to pandemic. By making this we would help to protect the financial sector”.

Blanco also added that cybercriminals launder their money and purchase instruments for making crimes using digital currency. “In crisis times people are exposed to risks and are more vulnerable than ever. So we all should make every effort to protect users and guarantee the ecosystem stability. And this all depend on credibility. We call on the digital currencies’ sector to continue the joint efforts on the development and implementation of the protective measures and we recommend the industry members to inform FinCEN about their progress”, said Blanco. In fact, Coinbase has recently announced it has become the JP Morgan banking client, and this will affect the prospect of crypto exchanges’ integration and the development of relations with banks.

As for the recent new, Jeff Horowitz, one of the leading company specialists, said that his company is focused on analytics and systems of transaction monitoring because banks will likely want to meet these functions in cryptos’ ecosystem. And although he is welcoming JP Morgan and other Banks entering crypto space, he expects to see lower entrance barriers. The expert also supposes that the ‘controlled’ VASP was not defined globally, and the industry should work at establishing regional frameworks, and only after that consider the global level.