The crypto regulatory landscape is constantly evolving as governments and financial institutions seek to manage the risks and opportunities presented by digital assets.
During a recent Financial Action Task Force‘s (FATF) Plenary in Paris, the second of its kind held last February, over 200 representatives from jurisdictions participated in discussions and sought to set and establish rule books for certain crypto activities.
Russia suspended from FATF
In a first for the FATF, it has suspended another member state — the Russian Federation.
The decision was made by the FATF due to Russia’s failure to comply with a demand from the United Nations General Assembly Resolution ES-11/1, which called for the removal of its armed forces from Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders.
In light of this violation of FATF’s core principles, to which all members are required to adhere, Russia will no longer be permitted to participate in FATF meetings or access the organization’s Global Network files.
However, Russia will retain its status as a member of the Global Network of the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering (EAG) and must continue to meet FATF standards and fulfill its financial obligations.
Other key obligations outlined
- Indonesia and Qatar will have their Mutual Evaluation Reports released by May 2023.
- Morocco and Cambodia have been removed from the Grey List.
- Strategic Initiatives were discussed, including the Beneficial Ownership of legal persons and legal arrangements.
- A report on ransomware attacks’ impact on disrupting financial flows will be issued in March 2023.
- The report will feature a list of risk flags to identify suspicious activities related to ransomware and provide advice to entities on how to better detect them.
- The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has announced progress on the implementation of the digital rial at the ninth annual conference on electronic banking and payment systems.
- The governing law of the CBDC will align with the rial banknotes, according to Mohammad Reza Mani Yekta, Head of the CBI office for supervising payment systems.
- Around ten banks have applied to join the project, and it is expected that all banks in the jurisdiction will offer crypto-wallets to nationals for the use of the digital rial.
- The CBDC pilot program has generated around 800K transactions so far, and the jurisdiction aims to scale up the number of customers to 1M due to the interest of nationals in a digital payment environment.
- RBI is exploring cross-border transactions and linkage with legacy systems of other countries, and is welcoming private sector and fintech participation in the CBDC project.
- The French National Assembly has approved a bill to align local legislation with proposed EU standards on crypto-related activities.
- President Emmanuel Macron has until March 16 to approve or return the bill to the legislature.
- If passed, the new guidelines will apply to new entities registered from July 2023 offering crypto services.
- Existing entities must comply with the regulations of the Financial Markets Authority until the passing of MiCA.
- Dubai’s Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority (VARA) has introduced its first crypto legislation in February 2023, called the Full Market Product Regulations (FMP).
- The FMP applies to the Emirate of Dubai and all its free zones, excluding the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and takes immediate effect.
- All Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) offering virtual asset services in Dubai, before and after the publication of the Regulations, must register with VARA to ensure full compliance.
- The Full Market Product Regulations comprise two parts: the Virtual Assets and Related Activities Regulations 2023 and several separate rulebooks.
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