0

EU banking authority extends Anti-Money Laundering guidance to crypto

The European Union’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) guidelines have been extended to European crypto companies following a decision from the region’s banking watchdog.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) said on Jan. 16 that the amended guidelines aim to help crypto asset service providers (CASPs) identify their exposure risk to financial crimes due to their “customers, products, delivery channels and geographical locations.”

The guidelines also outline how crypto firms should adjust their financial crime-fighting measures, which could include “the use of blockchain analytics tools,” the watchdog added. The guidelines will apply from Dec. 30.

The EBA claimed the latest amendments are “an important step forward in the EU’s fight against financial crime” and “harmonizes the approach” for crypto firms across the union to mitigate money laundering and terror financing.

The updated guidelines will add cryptocurrency and crypto company-specific risks and guidance to financial firms that hold cryptocurrencies or serve crypto firms.

Financial crime risk assessment guidance is also included with crypto firms directed to consider the potential risks associated with “anonymity-enhancing features,” self-hosted wallets, decentralized platforms, and products that allow transfers between the company and such services.

Related: EU regulators to investigate banks’ crypto exposure

Last year, the EU finalized its Transfer of Funds Regulation (ToFR) governing crypto transfers and the comprehensive and wide-ranging crypto Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) regulations.

MiCA’s crypto investor protections are set to come into effect in December, but EU member states can optionally implement an 18-month transitional period for CASPs, allowing them to operate unlicensed.

Magazine: Hodler’s Digest, Jan. 7-13: Venezuela shuts down Petro, SEC’s X account hacked, Bitcoin ETFs go live