FATF Rates US as “Largely Compliant” With Crypto Regulations


The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has rated the US’ steps against money laundering with digital currencies as largely compliant. Nevertheless, the country still has some minor deficiencies.

April 2, 2020 | AtoZ MarketsGlobal money-laundering watchdog, the FATF has labeled the United States’ steps against money laundering and terror financing with digital currencies as “largely compliant.”

In a report published on March 31, the intergovernmental evaluated the country’s measures for anti-money laundering (AML). It also evaluates counter-terror financing (CTF) in areas across the digital financing ecosystems including cryptocurrencies.

US must address minor deficiencies

According to the FATF’s latest report, the US still must address some “minor deficiencies”. For instance, US-registered money services businesses (MSBs) only keep detailed records for transactions that involve $3,000 or more. On the other hand, the FATF recommends a lower threshold – $1,000.

Moreover, the FATF said the US does not specifically identify “higher risk” virtual asset service providers (VASPs) as they are largely covered by the broader MSB regime.

“Therefore, it is not entirely clear whether the current approach is sufficiently risk focused, especially since only 30% of all registered CVC [convertible virtual currencies] providers have been inspected since 2014.”

As a result of these deficiencies, “the US remains rated as largely compliant” with “recommendation 15”.

FATF ranks countries in four levels

Evaluating the combating measures of the regulatory agencies, the FATF rates each country in four levels:

  1. Compliant.
  2. Largely compliant.
  3. Partially compliant.
  4. Non-compliant.

The recommendation 15, which came into force in June 2019, provides guidelines for cryptocurrency companies to prevent the misuse of virtual assets for money laundering. It also kicks against terrorist financing and the financing of proliferation.

Other “largely compliant” jurisdictions include Hong Kong, which is still tightening its regulations for crypto companies. It is worthy of note that the Monetary Authority of Singapore also enforced New AML Crypto Regulations (Payment Services Act) which had come into force on 29 January 2020.

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