Cryptocurrencies and anti-money laundering regulation in the G20
Cryptocurrencies (CCs), crypto-assets, virtual currencies, virtual assets, digital currencies: the steep rise in the employment of these assets over the course of the 2010s has given rise to growing global interest in them. Commonly associated with the anonymous and decentralized features of their best-known representative, Bitcoin, these assets have raised mixed dispositions on the part of the stakeholders: on the one hand, curiosity and enthusiasm regarding their potential for innovation; on the other, concern and distrust regarding the risks and implications associated with their use. While it is admitted that CCs do not currently pose a threat to international financial stability1, especially as their combined global market value is still relatively low2, this does not nullify the dilemmas faced by regulators. Some of the topics that national and international stakeholders have been addressing include the use of these assets for illicit purposes, taxation of gains from transactions involving them, protection of investors and consumers who use them, and even the environmental impacts of the industry. Therefore, while the debate over whether cryptographic assets should be regulated is not over3, it is being gradually replaced in several countries by discussions over how and when regulations should take place. This publication is the result of research into G20 members’ regulatory systems, listing existing provisions and regulatory gaps in reference to international harmonization recommendations on money laundering and crypto-related issues.
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