Three Quarters of Jurisdictions Not Complying With Global Crypto Laundering Norms, FATF Says

The global anti-money laundering watchdog FATF said North Korea is using digital assets to fund weapons of mass destruction

AccessTimeIconJun 23, 2023 at 3:02 p.m. UTC
Updated Jun 26, 2023 at 8:17 p.m. UTC
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Most jurisdictions still aren’t fully complying with international anti-money laundering norms for crypto, standard-setter the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has said .

“Almost three quarters of jurisdictions are only partially compliant or not compliant with the FATF’s requirements” for virtual assets, according to a statement issued following a regular plenary meeting of the watchdog, chaired by Singapore's T. Raja Kumar.

The statement said that North Korea was using illicit virtual assets to finance weapons of mass destruction and called for companies to apply anti-money laundering norms as an “urgent priority.”

"We see the risk posed by virtual assets continuing to increase" creating "significant loopholes for criminals to exploit," Raja Kumar told reporters on Friday, adding that "implementation remains relatively poor."

A forthcoming report from FATF will urge jurisdictions to close loopholes, focusing on emerging risks from decentralized finance and peer-to-peer transactions that don’t use a regulated intermediary such as a wallet provider, the statement said. Raja Kumar added that early next year FATF will publicly name those countries that didn't yet regulate, in a bid to encourage them to act.

Last year the U.S. Treasury sanctioned the decentralized privacy protocol Tornado Cash, saying it had been used by North Korean hackers to fund ballistic missiles.

UPDATE (June 23, 15:38 UTC): Adds Raja Kumar comments.

Edited by Aoyon Ashraf.

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Jack Schickler

Jack Schickler was a CoinDesk reporter focused on crypto regulations, based in Brussels, Belgium. He doesn’t own any crypto.


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