Virtual Assets

Publication details




How do the FATF Standards apply to virtual assets and virtual assets service providers ? 

The effective global implementation of these standards by all countries will ensure virtual asset technologies and businesses can continue to grow and innovate in a responsible way, and it will  create a level playing field.  It will prevent criminals or terrorists seeking out and exploiting jurisdictions with weak or no supervision. 

 Countries need to : 
  • Understand the money laundering and terrorist financing risks the sector faces
  • Licence or register virtual asset service providers
  • Supervise the sector, in the same way it supervises other financial institutions
Virtual asset service providers need to:
  • Implement the same preventive measures as financial institutions, including customer due diligence, record keeping and reporting of suspicious transactions
  • Obtain, hold and security transmit originator and beneficiary information when making transfers

Where will regulation happen?

Traditional banks have brick and mortar headquarters and a client base in close proximity of its offices. 

Virtual assets service providers often have a presence and a client base that spans the globe. 

So where do the standards apply, who should regulate them?

Regardless of the location of the server, or where it does business, it is the country that has incorporated the virtual asset service provider as a company, that is its main supervisor. 

The FATF has engaged intensively with the virtual asset service provider sector to build a partnership between governments and the sector and better understand the issues and risks involved. 

Through its Contact Group, the FATF continues to further explain the FATF’s requirements to the industry and to monitor developments and understand how the industry is meeting the various challenges.