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Regulatory and Legislative Analysis #1

CipherTrace’s Current Trends in Ransomware Report CipherTrace has published its Ransomware report in April 2022. Ransomware continues to be a major cybersecurity challenge that impacts us all – from big industry to small businesses to individuals. In 2021, we analyzed trends in ransomware usage and bottled those up in our latest Current Trends in Ransomware Report.…

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What are Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers, and why do we need to know about the Financial Action Task Force?

FATF Background Founded in 1989, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an independent inter-governmental body that develops and promotes policies to protect the global financial system against money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The FATF Recommendations are recognized as the global anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist…

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Stablecoins

US Senate Hearing Recap on Stablecoins

On Dec. 14, 2021, the Senate Banking Committee on Banking, House & Urban Affairs convened a hearing to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of stablecoins. Stablecoins maybe privately issued cryptocurrency or  algorithmic or “non-collateralized/decentralized” stablecoins such as DAI, an algorithmic stablecoin issued by MakerDAO. Stablecoins differ from other cryptocurrencies because their value is linked to government-issued…

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Senate Rejects Crypto Compromise— Infrastructure Bill passes without clarification on crypto

TLDR: On the morning of August 10, the US Senate passed the now infamous Infrastructure Bill (HR 3684) which, in its current state, suggests implementing tighter rules on any business that handles cryptocurrency such as reporting gains and expanding reporting requirements for what is loosely defined as cryptocurrency “brokers.” After a single senator objected to…

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Second 12-Month Review of the Revised FATF Standards on Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers

On July 5, 2021, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) completed its second 12-month review of the implementation of its revised Standards on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. This review looks at how jurisdictions and the private sector have implemented the revised Standards since the FATF’s first 12-month review. The FATF’s first 12-month…

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FinCEN Issues First National AML/CFT Priorities: Crypto at Top of the List

On June 30, FinCEN issued its first ever list of priorities for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) policy. These Priorities are intended to assist financial institutions in their efforts to meet their AML/CFT obligations. The final revised regulations are set to come out within the next 180 days, as required by…

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Virtual Asset Regulations: Outcomes of the FATF Plenary, 20-25 June 2021

On June 25, global anti-money laundering watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) completed a much anticipated plenary in which delegates finalized work in a number of important regulatory reports and guidance affecting Virtual Asset Service Providers worldwide. While a majority of the work finalized in this plenary won’t be released until the end of…

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Canada Updates KYC Identity Verification Guidance for VASPs

On March 23, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) updated its Know Your Customer (KYC) guidance on money services businesses (MSBs) and foreign money services businesses (FMSBs). FINTRAC classifies Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) as MSBs, meaning they too must comply with these new guidelines under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act… Read more

New US Administration Plans to Encourage Legitimate Use of Crypto, Curtail Criminal Use

During her confirmation hearing on January 19, Janet Yellen, President Joe Biden’s pick for Secretary of the Treasury, stated “many” cryptocurrencies are “a particular concern” when it comes to terrorism and criminal financing. This statement was in response to a question on how the US can curtail the use of emerging technology, such as crypto, in illicit financing.   On January 21, Yellen released  written responses to additional…

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What Exactly is a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP)?

Cryptocurrency, digital asset, convertible virtual currency… there seems to be an endless list of terms for the same concept. If that wasn’t enough, a cryptocurrency exchange can also be referred to as a Virtual Asset Service Provider(VASP), Virtual Asset Entity, Digital Asset Customer (DACs), Money Service Business (MSB), or any other series of classifications depending…

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