On 21 June 2019, the Financial Action Task Force ("FATF") released recommendations for regulating crytpocurrency worldwide. If implemented, cryptocurrency firms will be subjected to rules to prevent the abuse of cryptocurrency for money laundering. Against the backdrop of Libra, this represents the first worldwide attempt to regulate the cryptocurrency sector.
Steven T. Mnuchin, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, stated that crypto service providers will need to “Identify who they are sending funds on behalf of, and who is the recipient of those funds.” They will also need to “Develop processes where they are required to share that information with other providers of virtual assets, and law enforcement.” Further, they need to “Know their customers and conduct proper due diligence to ensure they are not engaging in illicit activity”.
It should be noted that the FATF’s recommendations for anti-money-laundering policies are not binding and member countries will need to adopt them into domestic law. That said if countries do not comply with FATF standards they may well get blacklisted.
As expected, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards released Friday include a controversial requirement that “virtual asset service providers” (VASPs), including crypto exchanges, pass information about their customers to one another when transferring funds between firms.