International Regulatory Enforcement (PHIRE)
FATF Adopts New Anti-Money Laundering Guidelines for Virtual Assets and Related Providers
By Chris Daniel & Nadia Hajji
On June 21, 2019, the Financial Action Task Force—an independent intergovernmental body that develops and promotes policies to protect the global financial system from money laundering and terrorist financing—released new Guidance governing virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. The Guidance clarifies the obligations of member jurisdictions with respect to licensing, supervision, and enforcement of covered virtual asset activities and virtual asset service providers. The Guidance also clarifies the compliance obligations of private sector entities engaged in virtual asset activities, particularly with respect to the obligation to obtain, hold, and transmit required originator and beneficiary information.
The Guidance applies the so-called Travel Rule to virtual asset transfers over USD1,000.
FATF requires jurisdictions to take action to identify natural or legal persons that carry out unlicensed or unregistered virtual asset activities.
Enforcement actions for unlicensed virtual asset activity and failure to comply with the Travel Rule are likely forthcoming in the U.S. and abroad.