Category Archives: anti-money laundering

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Taiwan Congressman Proposes Extension of AML Laws to Include Crypto

A lawmaker in Taiwan hopes to change local regulations in order to cover cryptocurrencies under the existing anti-money laundering (AML) framework.

A press release shared with Coindesk news shows that Taiwan’s colloquially know ”crypto congressman” Jason Hsu has proposed an amendment to the country’s Money Laundering Control Act that would make cryptocurrencies face the same legal recourse as traditional financial instruments, in addition to several added rules specific to cryptocurrency.

His policy proposal would streamline Taiwan’s laws with the EU’s own Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

Should the law pass, the onus would be on local cryptocurrency exchanges to prevent money laundering from taking place on their platforms. On the part of cryptocurrency exchanges, they will be required to keep transaction records and report anything suspicious to officials in order to maintain this new degree of responsibility.

”All those involved should have the responsibilities to take care of this budding ecosystem,” Hsu is quoted in the press release, Coindesk reports.

Rather than pushing an anti-crypto narrative, however, Hsu hopes that by providing a solid legal framework, investors will be encouraged into the market, while the new regulations could help inform citizens on the emerging technology. He has said it is an effort to support the development of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, rather than stifle their innovations.

However, Hsu sees a limit to the degree of government control there should be over the industry, and supports self-regulation to a certain extent.

Blockchain banking

Earlier this year, Taipei bank Fubon Commercial became the first of its kind in Taiwan to introduce a blockchain based payment system.

The new system is being used for restaurants and merchants serving the National Chengchi University, with Fubon Commercial saying transaction times may be cut to less than a second.

Taipei has plans to become a ”smart city” and blockchain is looking to be a key fixture in this move.

 

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Abu Dhabi Regulator Wants Internationally Standardized Crypto Regulation

Abu Dhabi’s head financial regulator has called for internationally standardized regulations for cryptocurrencies in order to prevent both criminal activities and their negative impacts on the image of virtual currencies.

Richard Teng, head of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) spoke at the country’s fintech event this week where he detailed the necessity for increased regulation of the space.

“This space needs to be properly regulated, otherwise there is the risk of financial crime… Every time a coin gets stolen or lost, it affects the confidence in this asset class,” Teng shared with the audience.

He continued, saying that he has full confidence in the country’s own ”comprehensive regime.” By sharing Abu Dhabi’s experience with global regulators including the US Securities and Exchange Commission, he hopes to bring a stronger trust in cryptocurrency to investors and governments alike.

International AML Laws Coming

Teng’s sentiment is popular among international regulatory leaders. On Wednesday, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) announced that they are a step closer to establishing global anti-money laundering (AML) policies for cryptocurrencies, with a FATF plenary scheduled in October.

During this discussion period, the task force consisting of 35 member jurisdictions and 2 regional organizations hope to agree upon what existing standards need to be adjusted in relation to cryptocurrencies, and what action the states need to take to uphold this.

The agency’s president Marshall Billingslea echoed Teng’s opinions in saying that the standards need to be applied in an internationally standardized way. Billingslea described the current AML policies as ”very much a patchwork quilt or spotty process” which leaves major vulnerabilities in financial systems on an international and state scale.

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Survey Attests Crypto Exchanges Want Regulations After All

A recent survey from payment company Mistertango indicates that 88% of cryptocurrency exchanges want regulatory standards for the industry, with 55% in favor of know-your-customer (KYC) policies and anti-money laundering checks on users.

Protection from market volatility

So far, 2018 has seen poor gains compared with the latter half of 2017, while the fear of a market crash and major cryptocurrency devaluation is pushing exchanges servicing the industry in favor of regulations. Some 30% of the survey’s respondents cited a significant crash as the biggest threat facing the market.

While 88% of the exchanges did want regulatory overcite over their own activities, 40% said that actually reducing bank-enforced barriers over cryptocurrency funded accounts would help improve the overall acceptance of the industry; it would certainly make it easier for more people to enter the market.

However, 17% of the exchanges see strict regulations as the biggest threat to the industry, pointing to the need for the approach taken implementing the regulations to be well-informed and not overbearing. It is given the generally reported sentiment that the industry discourages regulations.

Understanding the results

Business Manager at Mistertango, Gabrielius Bilkštys, said in a statement that the survey shows the industry is ”crying out for regulation“, describing uncertainty as the biggest fear, requiring a solution to provide stability. The lack of any regulatory consensus globally only adds to this dilemma, making it nearly impossible for cryptocurrencies to progress such as fiat, Bilkštys said.

CEO of exchange CEX.IO, Oleksandr Lutskevych, also weighed in on the results, saying that the industry has taken the opportunity to finally have its say on regulations. Lutskevych noted the widely reported claims that they do not want such regulations has been proven to be far from the truth and that they, in fact, recognize regulations have the capability to lead to the market maturing and moving away from an accusatory image of involvement with illicit activities.

In total, 24 exchanges took part in the survey, based in Europe, Asia, South America and Oceana, which operate with an aggregate trading volume surpassing USD 100 million.

The results were published by Mistertango on Finextra.

 

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