G20 Gives Official Support to FATF Crypto-Regulation Guidelines

Neil Dennis

The Governments of the Group of Twenty (G20) countries - which includes the European Union - have lent support for guidelines on cryptocurrency regulations suggested by money-laundering watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

FATF, an intergovernmental organization aimed at combating financial crimes such as money laundering and the funding of terrorism, took its initiatives - developed over six days of plenary meetings in mid-June - to this weekend's G20 summit held in Osaka, Japan.

Travel Rule Controversy

The guidelines proposed by FATF included the much-debated "travel rule" that requires digital asset exchanges to collect and transfer customer information during transactions. Critics of the travel rule have said adherence would require unwieldy levels of collaboration and would be costly to implement.

Privacy was also at the forefront of concerns: Joseph Weinberg, blockchain advisor at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development told CryptoGlobe last month that implementing the travel rule could become a "huge privacy issue". He questioned how transaction details and identity data could be ensured to be kept secure.

G20 Leaders Declaration

In its closing statement the G20's leaders declaration admitted that technological innovations can deliver significant benefits to the broad economy. On cryptocurrencies specifically, however, it remained cautious:

While crypto-assets do not pose a threat to global financial stability at this point, we are closely monitoring developments and remain vigilant to existing and emerging risks. We welcome on-going work by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and other standard setting bodies and ask them to advise on additional multilateral responses as needed.

On accepting the FATF guidelines on anti-money laundering and other financial crimes, the statement added:

We reiterate our strong commitment to step up efforts to fight these threats, including by strengthening the FATF’s global network of regional bodies. We call for the full, effective and swift implementation of the FATF Standards.

Some critics took to social media websites to express their opinions of the guidelines. Among them, Daniel Kelman said on Twitter:

JPMorgan Chase Positively Wades Into Crypto After Years of Hate

Colin Muller
  • JPMorgan is now servicing Gemini and Coinbase
  • The move represents a full reversal of JPM's stance
  • Crypto is now deeply institutionalized

The financial services giant and bank JPMorgan Chase & Co have seemingly reversed on a long-held stance, that crypto is bad, by beginning to service U.S. cryptoasset exchanges Gemini and Coinbase.

JPMorgan’s apparent reversal comes after years of institutionalized disdain for crypto, with the bank’s CEO Jamie Dimon being a vociferous critic circa 2017. According to Bloomberg, JPMorgan had been conducting due diligence on the exchanges “for months” before making the move. The bank’s adoption of crypto signals what can only be a highly regulated crypto-fiat landscape.

During 2019, JPMorgan had in fact started to visibly thaw on the subject of crypto, even experimenting with their own distributed ledger tech in the form of the so-called “JPM Coin”.

Dimon displayed during an interview his awareness of the competition posed by crypto, directing his people to assume that crypto and/or Fintech was “coming [...] to eat your lunch.” Despite this, he was bearish on the prospect of Facebook’s Libra project succeeding or even launching, saying in October 2019 that it would “never happen”.

big dropJPM chart by TradingView

JPMorgan’s publically traded stock has fallen recently, retreating from all-time-highs set in December 2019 in February, even before the coronavirus pandemic started to wreck the markets in March. It is down about 37% from those highs, trading now at about $87.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com