G7 Task Force moves towards global standards for crypto

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is hoping to agree a set of global standards for cryptocurrency customer sign-ups next month.

According to reports, the G7’s Financial Action Task Force is close to establishing a worldwide set of standards for information required from users of cryptocurrencies.

Mashall Billingslea, the president of the Paris-based FATF – a 37-nation group set-up by the more select G7 economic block – was tasked with leading its efforts in tightening up existing, non-binding, guidelines for crypto after March’s G20 meetings. Now, he is apparently optimistic that a meeting of those members in October will see agreement on a set of rules to close anti-money laundering “gaps”.

The Financial Times quotes Billingslea, as US civil servant, as saying: “It is essential that we establish a global set of standards that are applied in a uniform manner.”

Current guidelines, which came into being way back in June 2015, recommend exchanges be registered or licensed, and for them to be required to verify customers’ identities as anti-fraud and anti-money laundering measures. They do not, however, compel member states to enforce them as rules.

The October meeting will apparently discuss which existing, enforceable, FATF standards will be ported over to cover crypto – a sector they do not currently address. Also, according to the FT, the group will then begin to revise its operating procedures to assess how effectively countries are enforcing the new rules, and timetable when that monitoring will begin.

Billingslea is also quoted as saying the current regime is “very much a patchwork quilt,” that is “creating significant vulnerabilities for both national and international financial systems.”

If is hoped that widely adopted rules concerning sign-up regimes for those looking to move cryptocurrencies into and out of traditional fiat will at least bring some conformity to the wide range of takes regulators around the world have on the sector. While some have clamped down, others have looked to create rules that embrace the new technology, and the innovative businesses looking to build on it – with many, like he UK and the US, still in the process of working out where on the regulatory spectrum they feel most comfortable.

Yesterday, the UK’s Treasury Select Committee recommended regulation for the sector here, but only after the Bank of England and the Treasury’s own Task Force has reported on the sector, and out own Government has set out its policies towards it.

The US, of course, has it’s own Task Force too – as you would, probably, expect.