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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 June and early July, an overview of the outcomes affecting the virtual asset community were listed as follows:

  • The FATF completed a second 12-month review of the progress within the FATF Global Network on implementing the FATF’s revised Standards on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs).  So far, 58 out of 128 reporting jurisdictions advised that they have now implemented the revised FATF Standards, with 52 of these regulating VASPs and six of these prohibiting the operation of VASPs.  Majority of jurisdictions have not yet implemented the FATFs requirements, including the “travel rule”. REPORT WILL BE PUBLISHED JULY 5
  • The FATF has updated the Interpretive Note to the Rec.15 to clarify that the new obligations on proliferation financing risk assessment and mitigation also apply to VASPs. Guidance on Proliferation Financing Risk Assessment and Mitigation WILL BE PUBLISHED JUNE 29.
  • The Plenary agreed to finalize the FATF’s revised Guidance on virtual assets and VASPs in October 2021.
  • The FATF finalized two reports as part of its project to explore the challenges and opportunities of technological innovation to make anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing efforts more effective. REPORT WILL BE PUBLISHED JULY 1
  • The FATF finalized a report for government authorities that identifies concrete actions to improve asset recovery outcomes, which will help increase assets returned to the victims of crime and remove the drivers for criminal activity. The FATF will consider how to follow-up at its October meeting. NO INDICATION OF WHEN REPORT WILL BE PUBLISHED. 
  • Ethnically or Racially Motivated Terrorism Financing Report WILL BE PUBLISHED JUNE 30 
  • Malta was added to new jurisdictions subject to increased monitoring.

A full list of the outcomes of the plenary can be found here: https://www.fatf-gafi.org/publications/fatfgeneral/documents/outcomes-fatf-plenary-june-2021.html

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