London, Tuesday 9 April 2019 – The World Federation of Exchanges (“WFE”), the global industry group for exchanges and CCPs, has responded to Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations on mitigating risks associated with virtual asset service providers (VASPs).

The WFE believes that, whilst new technologies can bring significant benefits to the industry, stakeholders should be conscious of associated risks. With virtual assets - sometimes referred to as cryptoassets - moving into the mainstream, a balance must be found between fostering those growth opportunities and safeguarding users and investors.

The WFE’s response can be summarised as follows:

  • The WFE welcomes the FATF recommendations, which detail implementation requirements for effective regulation and supervision of VASPs, in particular measures on identifying those making and receiving virtual asset payments;
  • The WFE is encouraged that the recommendations examine threshold issues such as money laundering and terrorist financing, which can be mitigated via the appropriate application of regulation;
  • The WFE welcomes well-designed international efforts to safeguard users of virtual assets, particularly the FATF recommendations which have the effect of bringing VASPs under a regulatory standard similar to that of traditional market infrastructures;
  • The WFE believes calling the VASPs (many of whom are cryptocurrency platforms) ‘exchanges’ may lead investors into believing that all such platforms are regulated, or meet the same regulatory standards as traditional exchanges, when this may not be the case; and
  • If crypto-platforms are to be referred to as ‘exchanges’, regulatory authorities must ensure these platforms demonstrate to participants and users that they meet the appropriate standards.

Nandini Sukumar, Chief Executive Officer, WFE said: “The WFE supports the fostering of innovative technologies which benefit our members, end users, and investors. Indeed, technology has been a key engine driving the market infrastructure industry for many years. Regulators and industry stakeholders must ensure that consumers of virtual assets are appropriately protected, however, and proper regulatory measures govern the transactions and platforms by which those trades are conducted. Failure to properly regulate them will damage not only consumer confidence but may also stifle promising technologies which have great operational and investment potential.”

You can read the full response to FATF here.

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For more information, please contact:

Anna Watson
Head of Communications, The World Federation of Exchanges
Email: awatson@world-exchanges.org
Phone: +44 20 7151 4137 / +44 7850 287 685
Twitter: @TheWFE