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Think tank calls for changes to international crypto regulation

New research drafted by the Basel Institute of Governance and The International Academy of Financial Crime Litigators, has suggested that action against illicit crypto markets must be more coordinated.

July 19, 2022
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Crypto
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A Swiss-based think tank has called for increased international cooperation regarding cryptocurrency regulation and enforcement in order to combat black market activity. 

A recent paper, which was drafted by the Basel Institute of Governance and The International Academy of Financial Crime Litigators, has suggested that action against illicit crypto markets must be more coordinated. At present, there’s concern that it’s too easy for criminals to exploit loopholes between jurisdictions.

Federico Paesano, one of the report’s authors, has emphasized that, at present, not every country is following the same rules, or implementing them at the same pace. As a result, he believes that criminals are able to “exploit the gap in legislation between different countries, or go to jurisdictions where the rules are more relaxed in terms of anti-money laundering and know-your-customer checks”.

He added that “crypto investigations are very often international by nature, and cryptocurrency can move much faster than fiat currencies… Almost all such investigations require the cooperation of another country, and it’s currently a slow process that takes a lot of time.”

The report also recommended that crypto investigators should look to adapt their techniques and technologies so they are more in line with the methods used by criminal actors. In addition, the report also suggests that judicial authorities should develop new strategies for prosecuting virtual asset-based money laundering.

Trend shifts towards greater regulation and enforcement in the crypto sector

The recommendations outlined in the report follow comments made earlier this year by Him Das, acting director of the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). In April, he told Congress that the agency’s existing powers are “not right-sized for the types of threats we’re seeing through the use of cryptocurrency.”

Similarly, in the UK, experts have pointed out that financial authorities are currently responding to crypto laundering by using laws that are more than 20 years old. As a result, the government has promised to protect the country’s financial system via the new Economic Crime Bill.

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