G20 Postpones Crypto Anti-Money Laundering Measures Until October

The group will wait for the results of the ongoing FATF standards review, the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors decided this weekend.

The global club of wealthiest economies, the G20, will wait until autumn this year before announcing any specific cryptocurrency measures, the consultancy intergovernmental organization said on Sunday after the meeting of financial heads in Argentine. The group, which initially set a July deadline, wants to see the results from the ongoing review of anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) standards made by the global standard-setting body, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The 21-22 July summit of finance ministers and central bank governor was the second under Argentina’s 2018 G20 presidency. In March, the group called for the global implementation of FATF standards regarding cryptocurrency and ordered the body to analyze how its existing requirements can be fitted to digital coins. Argentina’s central bank governed set a July deadline for “very concrete, very specific recommendations”.

 “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,” the group said in a communique on Sunday.

Although virtual currencies do not pose a risk to financial stability at the moment, the G20 financial heads said that they would continue their “vigilant” monitoring of cryptos as these assets can be used for illegal activities. In the July communique, G20 again used the term ‘crypto-assets’ instead of ‘cryptocurrency’ and reaffirmed that digital coins are not money. However, G20 praised the cryptocurrency technology, or blockchain.

“Technological innovations, including those underlying crypto-assets, can deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy. Crypto-assets do, however, raise issues with respect to consumer and investor protection, market integrity, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing.”

Days before this weekend summit, FATF announced that it would put a focus on virtual currencies and will say in October how its recommendations can apply to digital coins. The other international standard-setting body, the Financial Stability Board (FSB), revealed a framework for monitoring crypto-assets, again, ahead of the meeting in Buenos Aires.