G20 countries move toward making FATF crypto standards the norm

Satoshi has asserted, since the original Bitcoin first came to light, that cryptocurrency was not meant to be used to circumvent financial laws and regulations. He has reiterated this position time and again, even warning crypto projects that failed to adhere to the standards that they would ultimately fail. This is one step closer to becoming the reality of the crypto ecosystem, as the G20 group of countries is now pushing for all countries to adopt the policies established by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Should that happen, all crypto transactions would be forced to comply with transparency and reporting criteria, nullifying any belief that digital currency can be managed outside the realm of regulations. 

The finance ministers and central bank governors of G20 countries are wrapping up a meeting in Saudi Arabia, and have issued a statement (in pdf) outlining what they plan on seeing from this point forward. The group explains, “We are facing a global landscape that is being rapidly transformed by economic, social, environmental, technological and demographic changes. Our collective work should strive to foster sustainable development and growth, and create the conditions in which all people can live, work and thrive. An inclusive approach to growth can better harness untapped economic potential, help address inequality and empower all segments of society, especially women and youth. Therefore, we agree to develop a menu of policy options that countries can draw from to enhance access to opportunities for all.”

To that end, the crypto space would have to embrace the FATF’s recommendations from last June. Among these are complete know-your-customer guidelines that are consistent with reporting requirements for fiat transactions, including personal identification tags with each operation. This is in line with what is currently seen with any financial transaction conducted by a bank, and the crypto community would be held to those same standards. 

This is great news for both the responsible crypto industry, as well as individuals in general. The financial leaders are proposing an advance in money remittance systems to make them more cost-effective and faster, which ultimately benefits everyone. The group adds in its statement, “We recognize the need to enhance global cross-border payment arrangements to facilitate lower-cost and swifter transfers, including for remittances. We ask the FSB [Financial Stability Board], in coordination with the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and other relevant standard-setting bodies and international organizations, to develop a roadmap to enhance global cross-border payment arrangements by October 2020.”

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