Japan Targets Bitcoin Exchanges for Money Laundering as G20 Looms
By CCN: Japan’s financial regulators are considering enacting new rules aimed at bitcoin exchanges as it steps up anti-money laundering countermeasures. This issue will also be raised at the forthcoming G20 Summit, which takes place in Osaka on June 28 and 29.
Specifically, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) is targeting crypto exchanges that don’t adequately confirm their clients’ identities or offer anonymous transactions, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.
Japan has recently been roiled by money-laundering and hacking scandals, in tandem with the rise of the crypto industry. To address this, the FSA will conduct a thorough inspection of Japan’s anti-money laundering protocols this fall.
G20 to Address International Crypto Regulations
In addition, world leaders are expected to discuss international regulations for cryptocurrencies at the G20 Summit next month, which Japan is hosting.
Currently, there are no uniform transnational cryptocurrency regulations, but the topic will be broached at the G20 Summit.
UN: North Korea Has Stolen $571 Million in Crypto
In March 2019, a panel of experts warned the UN Security Council that North Korea had hacked at least five Asian cryptocurrency exchanges and stolen more than $571 million.
The experts warned that North Korea is stealing crypto in order to offset the financial hardships it’s suffering due to ongoing U.S. economic sanctions.
“Cyberattacks involving cryptocurrencies provide the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with more ways to evade sanctions given that they are harder to trace, can be laundered many times, and are independent from government regulation.”
Money-Laundering Crackdowns Around the World
Meanwhile, other countries are also cracking down on the use of crypto exchanges for money-laundering purposes. In December 2018, the Dutch Central Bank unveiled new rules requiring crypto companies to get licenses before they can operate in the Netherlands.
The bank said the measure will deter money laundering and the use of bitcoin to fund terrorism. To qualify for a license, crypto companies must report “unusual transactions” and know who their customers are.
The Dutch Central Bank said the regulation was necessary because the decentralized, anonymous nature of the crypto market makes it a target for money launderers.
According to one investigation, more than $88 million was laundered over 46 cryptocurrency exchanges around the globe during the past two years.
Dutch Central Bank Wants to Regulate Crypto Companies to Stem Money Laundering https://t.co/f8bL8GafWJ
— CCN.com (@CCNMarkets) December 12, 2018
Russia again delays Bitcoin regulations amid money-laundering concerns
Meanwhile, Russia has once again postponed the roll-out of cryptocurrency regulations amid concerns over the use of bitcoin to launder money, evade taxes, and fund terrorism.
Russia was expected to launch crypto regulations in July 2019, but officials announced yesterday (May 21) that the push is being delayed. This is the second time in two years that the endeavor has been put on the back burner.
As CCN reported, an official with the Russian Parliament also warned that bitcoin can undermine the government.
Specifically, Nikolay Arefyev — the deputy chairman of the State Duma committee on economic policy — claims crypto could lead to Russia’s collapse by triggering a mass-withdrawal of capital to offshore accounts.
Bitcoin Can Wreak Havoc by ‘Ruining’ Governments: Senior Russian Official https://t.co/7bViOHQ9Rm
— CCN.com (@CCNMarkets) May 21, 2019
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