G20 Prepares to Regulate Crypto Assets – a Look at Current Policies
Following their joint declaration committing to regulate crypto assets, the G20 countries are now preparing to set crypto policies at the upcoming summit. Several international organizations have contributed resources and are actively working to help shape the regulations.
G20 Prepares to Discuss Crypto Policies
The upcoming G20 summit will be held in Osaka, Japan, on June 28 and 29. Participants are 19 member countries, the European Union, guest countries and a number of international organizations. Following the members’ joint declaration committing to regulate crypto assets for AML and CFT purposes, several standard-setting bodies have contributed resources to help the G20 set crypto policies. According to Japanese media, the countries are expected to agree upon new crypto-related regulations at the summit.
The G20 has reaffirmed its support for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as “the global anti-money laundering, counter terrorist financing, and proliferation financing standard-setting body,” the FATF described in its report submitted to the G20 last week. The G20 has additionally asked the organization to clarify how its standards apply to “virtual asset activities.” Responding to this request, the FATF confirmed that “Jurisdictions should apply a risk-based approach to virtual assets” and related activities. Promising to issue new guidelines in June, it elaborated:
At a minimum, virtual asset service providers should be required to be licenced or registered in the jurisdiction where they are created, or … where they have their place of business.
The FATF also recommends that “Virtual asset service providers should be supervised or monitored by a competent authority/ies (not a self-regulatory body)” and “Countries should provide international cooperation in relation to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers.”
The Financial Stability Board, which monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system, also submitted a report to the G20 which outlines who the crypto regulators are in each member country. Meanwhile, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is currently undertaking a quantitative impact study of banks’ direct and indirect exposures to crypto assets.
Furthermore, global standard setter for securities market regulation, the International Organization of Securities Commissions, has developed a support framework to assist with addressing domestic and cross-border issues arising from initial coin offerings (ICOs) and a framework for identifying risks associated with the secondary trading of crypto assets.
The G20 members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, South Africa, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the U.K., the U.S., and the European Union. Below is a summary of how they are currently regulating crypto assets.
For Argentina, the central bank assesses the financial stability risks from crypto markets and monitors financial institutions’ exposures to crypto assets. The Securities and Exchange Commission oversees these assets within the capital markets and the Financial Information Unit deals with crypto-related AML/CFT issues.
For Brazil, the Securities and Exchange Commission is responsible for cryptocurrencies that are securities. The Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) explained:
Our current mandate allows us to assess financial institutions’ exposure to those assets and supervise their operations. Moreover, BCB has the mandate to regulate what type of operations involving crypto-assets, if any, financial institutions can perform.
The U.S. has multiple regulators for crypto assets. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates cryptocurrencies that are deemed securities whereas the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) oversees crypto derivatives and commodities.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC) supervises financial institutions’ exposures to crypto assets. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fincen) has sole federal enforcement authority over money transmitters operating in convertible cryptocurrency.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency determines the permissibility and prudential conduct of banks related to crypto assets. The Office of Financial Research monitors these assets and their markets to identify any financial stability risks.
Canada also has many regulators for crypto assets. Among them is the Bank of Canada which ensures that cryptocurrencies do not pose systemic financial stability risks to the country’s economy. The Office of the Superintendent Financial Institutions ensures financial institutions’ levels of exposure to crypto assets are within acceptable risk appetite.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada is responsible for protecting consumers of financial services and products involving crypto assets. The Canada Revenue Agency deals with crypto-related taxes. Furthermore, the Ontario Securities Commission, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, the Alberta Securities Commission, and the British Columbia Securities Commission regulate crypto assets within their jurisdictions.
For Mexico, the central bank is responsible for defining the characteristics of crypto assets that financial institutions are permitted to operate with. The bank recently came up with some rules which stirred up the industry.
Last week, news.Bitcoin.com reported on how the European Union and five countries on the continent regulate cryptocurrency. Spain is not a G20 member but has been invited to attend the summit as a guest country.
On Monday, France’s Financial Markets Authority published the details of the new regulatory framework for cryptocurrency which was adopted on April 11 as part of the Pacte bill.
Also last week, news.Bitcoin.com reported on how China, India, South Korea, and Japan are regulating cryptocurrency.
As for Indonesia, Bank Indonesia has banned cryptocurrency as a means of payment but continues to monitor crypto transactions and their potential long-term effects on monetary policy and financial stability. The Ministry of Trade, however, has acknowledged cryptocurrency as a tradable commodity with the Commodity Futures Trading Regulatory Agency (Bappebti) acting as the regulator. The FSB described:
Currently, Bappebti is developing an ecosystem for crypto-assets markets and exchanges with aims to protect crypto-assets consumers.
Furthermore, the Indonesia Financial Services Authority monitors developments and effects of fintech on financial stability while the Ministry of Finance is reviewing the taxation mechanism for crypto asset trading activities.
Western and Central Asia
For Saudi Arabia, the Capital Market Authority, together with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), “are planning to conduct a study that aims to conduct assessment of the feasibility to introduce crypto-assets and ICOs in Saudi Arabia,” according to the FSB. The board clarified:
Currently, there is no regulation directly targeting crypto-assets in Saudi Arabia. However, SAMA’s current mandate allows it to assess financial institutions’ exposure to those assets and supervise their operations.
For Turkey, the central bank is responsible for overseeing the country’s payments system while the Financial Crimes Investigation Board is working on the rules related to cryptocurrency and related service providers.
Russia is also working on the regulatory framework for cryptocurrency. In February, President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to adopt federal laws on cryptocurrency by July.
Africa and Oceania
For the Republic of South Africa (RSA), the central bank assesses the regulatory implications of fintech and oversees crypto assets when used for payments. The bank has clarified:
There are currently no specific laws or regulations that govern the use of VCs [virtual currencies] in RSA. It follows, therefore, that currently no compliance requirements exist for local trading of VCs in RSA.
Meanwhile, the country’s Prudential Authority supervises regulated entities’ involvement in crypto assets and the Financial Sector Conduct Authority oversees crypto assets in the financial markets. The Financial Intelligence Centre ensures that they cannot be used for illicit purposes while the Revenue Services collects related taxes.
For Australia, the Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) regulates crypto exchanges which are required to register with it. The Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) monitors crypto and ICO activities that seek investment from Australians. Lastly, the central bank assesses the implications of crypto assets for monetary policy, identifies their risks to financial stability, and establishes related payments system policies if required. The bank published its April Financial Stability Review report last week confirming:
ASIC intends to monitor ICOs closely to ensure compliant behaviour, and to introduce market infrastructure regulation for cryptocurrency exchanges.
What do you think of how the G20 countries currently regulate cryptocurrency? What policies do you think they will come up with at the summit? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.