FATF Will Finally Publish Crypto Anti-Money Laundering Guidance Next Week

President Marcus Pleyer said the watchdog now expects countries to implement its “Travel Rule” guidance as soon as possible.

Oct 21, 2021 at 5:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 21, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. UTC

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) will soon publish its revised guidance for cryptocurrency firms, President Marcus Pleyer said Thursday.

“This guidance that we finalized for a risk-based approach to virtual assets and investments will be published next week,” Pleyer told CoinDesk during a press conference following FATF’s latest meeting.

Several years in the making, the global anti-money laundering (AML) watchdog issued draft guidance for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) at a plenary meeting in March, but the final revised guidance was delayed as the regulatory agency attempted to encompass fast-moving areas of innovation such as decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

As well as further clarification on the definition of VASPs, the guidance explains how FATF standards apply to stablecoins, Pleyer said. He also mentioned FATF’s expectation that countries will implement standards for the so-called “Travel Rule” for cryptocurrency transactions “as soon as possible.”

The revised guidance should also include a broadening of what is considered a VASP in DeFi as well as the FATF’s take on NFTs, according to Siân Jones, senior partner at XReg Consulting.

The guidance is “likely to be comprehensive and difficult and expensive for industry to fully comply with,” Jones said via email.

Sandali Handagama contributed reporting.

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Ian Allison is a senior reporter at CoinDesk.