G20 Waits For FATF To Develop Crypto Standards And Regulations

A definitive word may come from the G20 summit in October.

  • In addition to the many financial, economic, and technical issues discussed at the G20 summit last weekend in Argentina, assembled finance ministers and central bank governors from the world’s top economies also touched upon cryptocurrency standards and regulations.

    Members of the G20 summit did not take a definitive stance on cryptocurrency in the communiqué, which was written after the conclusion of the meeting and agreed upon by all member countries. Instead, the committee vowed to “remain vigilant” to threats that crypto-assed might pose to global financial stability.

    During the last G20 summit, held in March, the organization’s members committed to implementing the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) standards for cryptocurrency regulation. At the time, the G20 also called “on international standard setting bodies (SSBs) to continue their monitoring of crypto-assets and their risks.”

    In response to this call to action, the FATF published a report to the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors earlier this month outlining some basic steps it was taking toward regulation. These included conducting a survey of the cryptocurrency regulations and standards of various countries; monitoring the risks associated with crypto payment products such as bitcoin ATMs and prepaid cards; and identifying ways to better conduct investigations into crimes involving cryptocurrency. (On July 16, the Financial Stability Board also published a report for the G20 on the work it and other SSBs were doing related to crypto-assets.)

    The G20, however, wants to know more. Although its communiqué states that cryptocurrency does not currently pose a threat to the stability of the global financial market and that the technology behind cryptocurrency “can deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy,” it places the ball back in the FATF’s court.

    “We welcome updates provided by the FSB and the SSBs and look forward to their future work to monitor the potential risks of crypto-assets, and to assess multilateral responses as needed. We reiterate our March commitments related to the implementation of the FATF standards and we ask the FATF to clarify in October 2018 how its standards apply to crypto-assets.”

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