Through a Digital Glass Darkly: Regulating Cryptocurrencies

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News Article

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In all the coverage of the recent G20 summit in Argentina, one of the more important initiatives adopted was largely overlooked by media. In a rare show of unity, the member countries announced that they would be taking concerted action to regulate the shadowy world of cryptocurrency. This is no small feat.

With guarded praise for the technological innovations that come with the creation of cryptocurrency and that have led to significant benefits to the global economy, Group of 20 countries called for some substantial and serious regulation of cryptocurrency in order to deal better with a range of issues – money laundering, terrorist funding, excessive risk speculation and the co-ordination of cross-border taxation.

The G20’s aim is to have regulations in place by 2020. At present, there is a patchwork of national procedures for such monitoring. Some countries, such as China, have taken a no-cryptocurrency position, while others, such as Malta, are enthusiastically open for business. The basic plan is to rely on the standards created by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), established by the Group of Seven in 1989, which cover areas including record-keeping, reporting of suspicious transactions and transparency.

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The Globe and Mail