Tougher crypto rules key to stifling ransomware attacks, global watchdog says

Cryptocurrency firms would have to do more to prevent money laundering under new guidelines proposed by the Financial Action Task Force, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 28.

Five things to know:

  1. The Financial Action Task Force is a global watchdog that coordinates government policies on money laundering and other forms of illicit finance.

  2. The task force said governments should tighten oversight of cryptocurrency companies and mandate that they check the identities of their customers and report suspicious activity to law enforcement.

  3. The task force's guidelines would need to be implemented by government authorities to apply. The organization's three dozen members include the United States, many European countries and China, according to the report. The task force is influential in setting money laundering standards and fighting financial terrorism, the Journal reported.

  4. Some cryptocurrency groups expressed distaste for the suggested regulations.

    Peter Van Valkenburgh, research director at crypto advocacy group Coin Center, told the Journal that "it would be inappropriate for anything like these non-specific and confusing standards to replace the current law and regulations we have on the books here in the U.S."

  5. Federal authorities have eyed tougher cryptocurrency regulations to cut off ransomware gangs' financial backing. The Treasury Department said Sept. 21 it sanctioned a Russian-owned cryptocurrency exchange accused of helping to launder ransomware payments.



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