With an increase in crypto markets in recent years, there is a need for tighter regulatory policies as the gaps in regulations increase the chance for criminals to illegally exploit this market. On the other hand, since the crypto market is still relatively new, many regulations either impose restrictions on the industry itself or prohibit it completely, leaving the governments to worry about whether they can control the progression of crypto assets. As a result, both international and domestic regulatory bodies continually announce new rules and policies on this prevalent issue.
Cryptocurrency and Digital Transformation
With the digitalisation of the crypto sector on a global scale, the crypto market is drastically expanding, especially since the internet provides ‘seamless’ connectivity. More specifically, the new era of digitalisation has impacted the evolution of technology. Including, artificial intelligence systems, robotic systems, and cloud-based technology, which are heavily used within the crypto field. With the use of blockchain technology, these advancements have urged the need for reliable management systems and robust security measures since this industry has become an appealing area for financial criminals to operate within. With this security need, compliance solutions such as NameScan, a robust Pay-As-You-Go AML risk prevention system, have been developed.
Crypto regulations around the world
Cryptocurrency was first developed in 2009 and has managed to expand to the global stage, becoming independent of any authority and operating anonymously. One of the biggest international concerns of crypto for tax offices, enforcement agencies and regulators is the legality of cryptocurrencies.
There is no central bank that produces or regulates any of the thousands of cryptocurrencies around the world. Since it is not in physical form, crypto payment systems are mainly used peer-to-peer enabling ‘cross-border’ (anonymous) transactions without the need for exchange rate fees. In 2020, the estimated market value of crypto assets was $202 billion. This has resultingly increased the need for rules and regulations surrounding crypto assets all over the world.
The European Union has made the crypto industry responsible for being compliant with AML regulations to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. This is being done in conjunction with trying to control money transfers of crypto by issuing an action plan that covers the crypto sector specifically.
The Financial Crimes Network (FinCEN) is associated with the US Treasury and compels companies that are known as Money Transmitting Businesses (MTB) within the crypto field to comply with bank secrecy laws and regulations while simultaneously requiring them to comply with anti money laundering (AML) laws and Know Your Customer (KYC) processes. In 2015, FinCEN introduced a fine on Ripple (XRP), making it the first sanction to be enforced on crypto assets.
While Bitcoin is forbidden in some states, there is no single overarching rule on it in the country. The country has also introduced 40 recommendations that are covered in the FATF’s Travel Rule which follow AML/CTF obligations that financial institutions in 37 other countries must implement. Furthermore, virtual asset transfers must provide detailed information including name, account number, physical address, a national and client identification number, date, as well as location of the creators and beneficiaries. This information is required to create the necessary AML/CTF processes and help with risk-based profiling.
In 2021, Canada approved the world’s first directly backed bitcoin exchange traded fund encouraging access for investors to cryptocurrencies. However, despite this, crypto has still not been legalised. While Canada does support the usage of cryptocurrency, it is concerned crypto might be used for money laundering and terrorism financing. In other words, Canada acknowledges Bitcoin as a money service business, while placing the crypto field under AML and CTF surveillance. As a result, under FINTRAC, crypto exchanges must perform compliance checks, documentation and report transaction that are deemed suspicious.
Despite not officially approving crypto exchanges, the UK is currently considering crypto transactions as forex transactions and to tax it as capital income. It is also considering applying value-added tax as a method of payment. In the UK, the FCA makes sure that the “regulatory environment supports digital currencies”.
Since its rising popularity in 2017, crypto assets have attracted a great deal of investor interest in Turkey, hence raising crypto’s profile. Although Turkey intends to develop its own cryptocurrency, it has also enacted crypto asset laws under the 11th Development Plan for Financial Issues. These laws involve the establishment of a digital central bank based on Blockchain technology, as well as the deployment of a union-based payment service and electronic money institutions.
In Turkey, cryptocurrencies are governed by income tax rules, value-added tax laws, corporate tax laws, electronic find laws, and AML laws. As there are no limits on crypto-related transactions inside the country, the Capital Markets Board is authorised to oversee and supervise crypto-related activities to determine their legality.
NameScan and the crypto market:
As cryptocurrencies gain worldwide acceptance and increase in popularity, regulatory agencies such as FATF will expand the reporting obligations within the crypto industry to help prevent money laundering and terrorism financing. NameScan’s Risk prevention solutions were developed to help reporting entities meet their AML obligations through the use of an intuitive and robust global solution that uses machine learning to provide up-to-date lists to perform PEP, Sanction and KYC checks against. Thanks to solutions like ours, it has never been easier for crypto exchanges to implement compliance measures. Request a demo today!