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Financial Action Task Force Releases Updated Guidance

(March 23, 2021 8:53 pm) - The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global anti-money laundering watchdog, has released updated guidance on digital assets and digital asset service providers after its findings detailed some jurisdictions’ anti-money laundering (AML) poorly lacking when it comes to digital currency.  More specifically it found that some ntaions had limited or no way at all of combating the financing of terrorist (CFT) regimes.

  • The guidance highlights six focus areas of improvement.
  • First is to "clarify the definitions of virtual assets and virtual asset service providers to make clear that these definitions are expansive and there should not be a case where a relevant financial asset is not covered by the FATF Standards.”
  • Specific guidance is also given on ‘stablecoins’, including offering a definition of the term and some consideration toward their unique risk factors and highlighting that rate-of-adoption will be instructive in assessing risk.
  • In numerous places, the updated guidance that those dealing in stablecoins should be subject to the same regulatory supervision as those dealing in typical digital assets and traditional financial assets.
  • The guidance also clarifies that central bank-issued digital currencies (CBDCs) are not considered digital assets, but are still considered fiat currency and thus still fall within the FATF responsibility.
  • Other guidance pertains to highlighting the importance of cross-border information sharing between regulators and authorities, requiring each jurisdiction to have an authority specifically supervising digital asset service providers for AML/CFT purposes, and implementation of a travel rule.

The Endangered State of Digital Asset Exchanges

(March 23, 2021 8:45 pm) - On Monday, crypto kingpin Calvin Ayre made his prediction as to the future of digital currency exchanges.

CoinGeek this past weekend detailed what exchanges will need to do in order to conform.

Insofar as digital asset exchanges wish to continue serving the U.S. market without being shut down, they would be wise to undertake much more careful vetting of:

the tokens they list or delist;

the programs they provide to users, for example staking ETH to the Ethereum 2.0 network; and

internal compliance regimes to ensure compliance with AML regulations, for example

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- Aaron Horowitz,