The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has recently updated its Guidance on the treatment of Virtual Assets (VA) and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP), which lays out due diligence measures that must be implemented to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.
The Crypto Valley Association (CVA) recognizes that this new Guidance presents significant challenges to members who may issue or deal in VAs and who may be classified as VASPs (defined below).
With this in mind, the CVA will be conducting one or more information session(s) in the upcoming months in order to inform members and the DLT community of requirements and possible solutions regarding compliance with the new Guidance, which will soon be reflected in domestic regulations.The CVA will equally liaise with relevant authorities and counterparts in Switzerland and abroad to support the implementation of the Guidance.
What is a VASP?
Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) means any natural or legal person who conducts one or more of the following activities for or on behalf of another natural or legal person:
- exchange between virtual assets and fiat currencies;
- exchange between one or more forms of virtual assets;
- transfer of virtual assets;
- safekeeping and/or administration of virtual assets or instruments enabling control over virtual assets (i.e. custody / custodial wallet solutions); and
- participation in and provision of financial services related to an issuer’s offer and/or sale of a virtual asset (i.e. initial token or crypto offering).
The new FATF guidance includes recommendations on several key points, including;
1. VASPs must join the fight against money laundering / terrorism finanicing
Exchanges, crypto banks, issuers of payment tokens and the like will need to be licensed and implement a program to manage AML/CTF (identify and verify the authenticity of clients, monitor transactions, etc.) for transactions above USD 1,000.
2. Travel rule
VA transfers that take place between a VASP and other financial intermediates (i.e. other VASP, banks) will require the originating party (ie. sender) to obtain, hold and transmit required information on both the sender & recipient, including names, residential and wallet addresses. Similar requirements are placed on receiving / beneficiary VASPs.
VASPs should be supervised or monitored by a competent authority, not a self-regulatory body. FINMA-licensed SROs should be considered competent authorities in Switzerland.
Note: During the process of refining its Guidance (first issued in 2015), the CVA’s Regulatory and Policy Working Group provided input to the FATF, with consideration to the needs and experience of Crypto Valley companies and the industry as a whole.
The CVA encourages all of its members to join in the conversation and attend the information sessions – and be prepared to follow developments in the space with careful attention.