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G-20 to beef up steps against money laundering using crypto-assets

  • June 1, 2019
  • , Kyodo News , 7:30 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO — The Group of 20 major economies plan to agree on compiling additional steps by 2021 against money laundering and funding of terrorist groups through the use of crypto-assets, sources close to the matter said Saturday.


The G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors are set to urge the Financial Action Task Force, an international body, on devising new measures to prevent the malicious use of cryptocurrency and other advanced technologies when they gather in Fukuoka for a two-day meeting from June 8, the sources said.


The chiefs are also expected to formally agree on strengthening regulations on cryptocurrency exchange operators such as requiring government registration.


Concerns are growing that cryptocurrencies will be used to fund terrorist organizations and other criminal acts by exploiting their anonymity.


A U.N. panel of experts said in March that cryptocurrency gave North Korea a new way to evade sanctions since “they are harder to trace, can be laundered many times and are independent from government regulation.”


It said Pyongyang successfully launched attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges in Asia, including Japan, at least five times between January 2017 and last September, leading to a total loss of $571 million.


The FATF, an international standard-setting body that promotes steps to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, has been pushing for strengthened monitoring of cryptocurrency exchanges and the verification of customer identities.


In Japan, registration is already mandatory for cryptocurrency exchanges due to a revision of the payment services law that came into effect in April 2017. The law also gives authorities the power to issue orders for business improvement and suspension.


The G-20 chiefs are also set to ask members to report on possible countermeasures utilizing IT such as employing artificial intelligence technology to detect suspicious transactions, the sources said.


They will agree to accelerate efforts toward establishing rules on compensating investors and customers for theft of their cryptocurrencies, the sources said.

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