G20 member countries are calling on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to elucidate how their current anti-money laundering (AML) standards will affect cryptocurrency.
Recently reported, the FATF aims to present global binding rules for crypto exchanges that would eliminate inconsistencies between countries. FATF AML guidelines established in 2015 only request that cryptocurrency exchanges be licensed and/or registered and these guidelines are non-binding. The FATF is now looking at how current rules could be updated for newer exchanges, which may help to win back the countries that have banned cryptocurrency trading.
The FATF is expected to respond with clarification on how its current AML standards apply to crypto money laundering in October 2018.
Experts indicate that if certain changes are made to the AML standards, the door would open for cryptocurrencies to be legitimized on a global level. Although most mainstream institutions in the U.S. do not recognize it as a currency or legitimate form of payment, cryptocurrency is not going anywhere. Goldman Sachs has publicly professed its intentions to set-up a cryptocurrency trading desk. A few third world countries have released a national digital currency in hopes to stabilize and build back their economies. Recently, Venezuela released its “Petro” stablecoin, tied to the bolivar fuerte currency, in an attempt to alleviate the burden of US sanctions. Unlike most digital currencies that are untraceable and decentralized, Petro is government-issued and correlates directly to Venezuelan crude oil reserves. Likewise in Africa where banking systems are minimal and extremely outdated, cryptocurrency seems to be the most accessible and inclusive form of payment for a country lacking any type of homogeneous economic infrastructure. Launched in February, Nuru Coin hopes to become the main pan-African currency to fuel trade between African countries, providing financial services to citizens, and a new solution to humanitarian relief programs.
If the FATF can institute binding AML standards, cryptocurrency could soon become even more universally accepted.