G20 Finance Leaders Meet in Japan to Discuss Cryptocurrency

13 June 2019

What areas of cryptocurrency did G20 finance ministers and central bank governors discuss in their recent meeting in Fukuoka, Japan?

The G20 Summit of finance heads of the member countries met over the weekend of the 8th June and discuss cryptocurrencies.

Finance ministers and central bank governors published in a joint communiqué that the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Financial Stability Board (FSB) must continue to work together to monitor risks around crypto assets.

Talking about cryptocurrency, G20 leaders stated: “We ask the FSB and standard-setting bodies to monitor risks and consider work on additional multilateral responses as needed.”

The statement also highlighted that “technological innovations, including those underlying crypto-assets, can deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy.”

Interestingly, this very sentence was included in a document published after the G20 Summit held a meeting in Buenos Aires last year. It seems rather ironic too, considering the fact that member nations like Brazil, the United States, India and China have always been quite negative towards the crypto industry.

Nonetheless, the meeting’s paper expressed the concerns around using these technologies as well: “While crypto assets do not pose a threat to global financial stability at this point, we remain vigilant to risks, including those related to consumer and investor protection, anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT).”

G20 and cryptocurrency: is this a sign of good things to come?  

In the grand scheme of things, the fact that G20 finance leaders are discussing cryptocurrency shows that the industry is becoming more prominent in today’s society.

While there are still some obvious concerns from various G20 member states, they are all in support with the regulatory progress FSB and other international organisations are making. This is fantastic news for the crypto community and new investors who are in favour of a safer market.

G20 finance leaders were in favour of the FSB’s recent report focusing on the ongoing work, regulatory gaps and potential gaps surrounding crypto-assets.

This also includes the release of FSB’s a crypto-assets regulators directory, which provides essential information on the applicable regulators and other authorities in FSB jurisdictions and international bodies who are handling crypto-asset issues.

IOSCO’s consultation paper on regulating crypto-asset trading platforms (CTPs) was positively acknowledged in the joint communiqué too: “IOSCO’s work on crypto-asset trading platforms related to consumer and investor protection and market integrity.”

“We welcome the FSB’s directory of crypto-asset regulators, and its report on work underway, regulatory approaches and potential gaps relating to crypto-assets”.

Moving forward, the G20 finance leaders are looking to confirm their commitment to applying the FATF Standards to virtual assets and related providers for AML and Counter-Financing of Terrorism (CFT).

The future looks very bright for cryptocurrency. With more key decision makers taking the time to discuss, and more importantly, support these regulatory changes, it’s no longer a matter of if crypto will be widely accepted – it’s a simple case of when.

If you need some expert guidance on how to safely navigate around the challenging regulatory landscape, get in touch with our team today.  

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