The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) – a multi-national agency tasked with combating global financial criminal activity, will discuss developing and introducing legally binding rules for governing cryptocurrency exchanges later this month.
Reuters reports that the Paris-based agency – comprised of 37 countries – will meet with both the Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Commission in an attempt to establish legally binding regulations governing cryptocurrency exchanges.
DEVELOPING BINDING GUIDELINES
The push for the development of said guidelines comes after a call on behalf of financial policymakers from G20 economies earlier in March. The current rules, which were set back in 2015, are non-binding, making enforcement among the countries challenging and inconsistent, to say the least.
According to the guidelines which are currently in place, cryptocurrency exchanges need to be registered or licensed and they need to verify the identity of their customers in order to prevent money laundering. Yet, due to their non-binding nature, 68% of cryptocurrency exchanges fail to comply with the KYC requirements.
A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, noted that the discussions are to begin on June 24th and are supposedly going to take a closer look at the currently existing rules and determine whether or not they are appropriate in the current cryptocurrency environment of today. The agencies will also discuss the guidelines’ application to newly founded cryptocurrency exchanges as well as how to work with countries that have already banned cryptocurrency trading.
JAPAN TO LEAD THE WAY
Japan has already established itself as a generally crypto-friendly country, working actively to provide regulatory clarity on pressing matters. Earlier this month, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), introduced a five-point agenda for regulating cryptocurrency exchanges.
Furthermore, the exchanges trading virtual currencies launcheda self-regulatory body back in April. All 16 of them took part, forming the Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Association (JCEA) which is supposed to be responsible for the self-regulation of those platforms.
Now that Japan is due to chair the G20 in 2020, it intends to take the lead on the current matter. Hoping that it will get the support of U.S. and European governments, Japan will be pushing for the adoption of the new and binding rules to take effect by 2019 at the very latest.
India’s proposed crypto ban is ‘corrupt’ says Tim Draper
- India’s proposed bill is “pathetic and corrupt,” Tim Draper.
- Draper is known for his public support for Bitcoin and freedom to use cryptocurrencies.
Following a leaked bill from the India government proposed a blanket ban on cryptocurrency, Tim Draper, a Bitcoin support and investor in Tezos has come out to condemn the move. The outspoken investor has recently advocated Bitcoin to the government of Argentina. He refers to India’s proposed bill as being “pathetic and corrupt.”
He wrote on Twitter:
“People behaving badly! India’s government banned Bitcoin, a currency providing great hope for prosperity in a country that desperately needs it. Shame on India leadership.”
His comments have not been received well by the people on Twitter with some saying that Draper has not confirmed the developments and is acting on hearsay only. Draper is known for his public support for Bitcoin and freedom to use cryptocurrencies and does not support government involvement in terms of regulating the space.
As reported by FXStreet, a lawyer in India shared what he referred to as the evidence of a draft law that could be used to ban cryptocurrencies in India except for the ‘Digital Rupee,” a digital asset that will be issued and backed by the Reserve Bank of India.
More on India’s leaked draft bill: India’s battle with crypto ban continues: “Digital Rupee” to be only the digital currency
France’s Financial Watchdog Proposes ‘Voluntary’ Regulatory Framework for Crypto Firms
The Financial Markets Authority (AMF), France’s top financial organization, plans to release an experimental regulatory framework for crypto firms later this month, according to a Reuters report.
The rules will include capital requirements, tax mandates, and consumer protection protocols – which “crypto-related firms will voluntarily abide by” in exchange for regulatory approval, reports Reuters.
Anne Marechal, executive director for legal affairs at the AMF, called the experimental arrangement a “precursor” for international crypto-specific legislation, rather than the mismatched application of financial regulations written prior to the advent of the asset class.
This is not the first time France has unveiled a “tit for tat” regulatory scheme. In April, the AMF released a requirement for banks to open accounts for crypto firms that “opt in” to being regulated. Part of the PACTE law, crypto exchanges and custodians were also extended the “option” to attain an operating visa.
At the time, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire suggested the European Union follow “the French experience” by using the PACTE guidance to set up a “single regulatory framework” for digital assets in the EU single market.
These relatively unrestrictive legal measures were taken to promote the growth of small and medium-size businesses. While some governments, organizations, or industry leaders call explicitly for self-regulation or no regulation, many believe clearer rules regarding the sale, distribution, trading of cryptocurrencies would stimulate, rather than hamper, the industry.
Frederic Montagnon, the co-founder of LGO, a crypto exchange looking to expand into France, told Reuters, “When you are an entrepreneur, the worst that can happen to you is to set up your business where there is no regulation, to see an adverse regulatory framework later imposed that jeopardizes your whole business.”
Marechal said “several” crypto exchanges, custodians, and hedge funds are in dialogue regarding the regulatory framework with the AMF, which is also set to approve “three or four” ICOs.
Specifics will arise when the watchdog publishes the regulatory guidance.
For each U.S dollar in BTC spent on the darknet, $800 is laundered, says report attacking Steven Mnuchin’s claims
Following the crypto-focused briefing by the U.S Treasury Secretary, many have drawn conclusions that best fit their financial interests. But, with Steven Mnuchin linking Bitcoin to enabling illegal activities, hardcore crypto-enthusiasts have taken the criticism personally. In an attempt to dispense of this notion, Messari.io published a detailed report to compare the top fiat’s contribution towards fraud, in comparison to the world’s leading cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
In the report titled, “Bitcoin in the grand scheme of things,” BTC’s contribution toward illegal activities was dwarfed by the strongest of fiat establishments. Through a combined analysis of data from Chainalysis and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the report claimed,
“For each $ (U.S. Dollar) in BTC spent on the darknet, at least $800 is laundered.”
While this revelation may come as a shocker to traditional financial giants, it is important to note that messari.io has considered the total volume of BTC spent on the darknet, which largely comprises of legitimate transfers.
Further, the one-on-one comparison also showed that global economies recorded an explosive increase in their stock of narrow money [M1] i.e. physical money and digital assets. With the European Union leading this race with 0.87 billion in supply, it’s currently 98% higher than BTC’s total supply expected to be recorded sometime in 2020 (considering BTC’s price to be $10,000).
The report also considered the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet from 2009, the year when BTC was launched. The report revealed that the Fed’s balance sheet showed a currency issuance rate of 13,664%, against BTC’s modest 12 billion.
This report was shared by, @fmoulin7, over a tweet directed towards Mnuchin, which read,
“Just a quick reminder… @stevenmnuchin1”
Most leaders within the cryptoverse expect the U.S. government to allow the use of crypto within the limits set by the nation’s ruling government. The remaining however, retain their optimism for a BTC-dominated future, with or without the support of the government.