The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has announced plans to tighten oversight of cryptocurrency firms as part of an effort to reduce money laundering, Reuters reported on Friday. The global regulatory body suggested that the new oversight measures would require registration and supervision for cryptocurrency exchanges, customer checks, and increased reporting of suspicious transactions.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF), set up 30 years ago to tackle money laundering, told countries to tighten oversight of cryptocurrency exchanges to stop digital coins being used to launder cash.
The move by FATF, which groups countries from the United States to China and bodies such as the European Commission, reflects growing concern among international law enforcement agencies that cryptocurrencies are being used to launder the proceeds of crime.
Europol’s financial intelligence head, Simon Riondet, reportedly told Reuters that criminals are increasingly using digital assets to launder illicit money. According to him, those criminals use the cryptocurrencies for cross-border money transfers, using smaller transactions to make it more difficult for law enforcement to detect the activity.
Reuters reported that FATF’s latest actions represent the first attempt at a global regulatory approach to digital assets and noted that at least one industry organization – Global Digital Finance – has welcomed the move. However, the group’s executive director, Teana Baker-Taylor, warned that requiring companies to include transaction details about senders and recipients might be unrealistic.
“We are obviously going to comply,” Baker-Taylor said. “The challenge is asking for something that there is the technical facility to do.”