The FATF (Financial Action Task Force) in a recent assembly in France has called for tightening supervision over cryptocurrency exchanges in a way similar to commercial banks. The body advised all its 35 member countries to supervise the exchanges to prevent cryptocurrencies from being misused for unlawful transactions.

The new FATF guidelines are aimed at ensuring regulation and supervision of cryptocurrency service providers. The body has urged all its members to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges and associated transactions in the same way they regulate commercial banking institutions. The inter-governmental organization has made it obligatory for its member nations to adopt these changes, finalizing the necessary implementations for the supervision and regulation of virtual currency providers. These measures can be officially and formally adopted as a part of the FATF requisites from June.

To make effective use of the suggestions made by the FATF, member nations have to contemplate virtual assets and digital currency as “property”, “proceeds, “funds”, or other different “corresponding value”.

In addition, members will have to adopt relevant measures against virtual assets and their providers. They must now require virtual asset providers to realize and assess the potential terror financing and money laundering risks, and take effective actions to mitigate the same.

The FATF has established standards to promote effective implementation of the legal, regulatory and functioning measures for standing against money laundering, terrorist funding and other threats imposed on the integrity of the international finance system.

However, the taskforce has clarified that member nations need not establish a separate licensing or registration system for a person or persons who are already licensed and registered in this manner as financial institutions. These financial institutions already have obligations apart from the new suggestions, and hence they are permitted to accept crypto assets providers.


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