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THE WORLD FEDERATION OF EXCHANGES WELCOMES FATF RECOMMENDATIONS TO IDENTIFY USERS OF VIRTUAL ASSETS

Hamilton, Bermuda: 09 April 2019— In a press release today The World Federation of Exchanges has today has responded to Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations on mitigating risks associated with virtual asset service providers (VASPs).The release stated:

 

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.

 

- Ends -

 

About the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE):

Established in 1961, the WFE is the global industry association for exchanges and clearing houses. Headquartered in London, it represents over 200 market infrastructure providers, including standalone CCPs that are not part of exchange groups. Of our members, 37% are in Asia-Pacific, 43% in EMEA and 20% in the Americas. WFE exchanges are home to nearly 48,000 listed companies, and the market capitalisation of these entities is over $70.2 trillion; around $95 trillion (EOB) in trading annually passes through the infrastructures WFE members safeguard (at end 2018).

 

The WFE is the definitive source for exchange-traded statistics, and publishes over 350 market data indicators.  Its free statistics database stretches back more than 40 years, and provides information and insight into developments on global exchanges. The WFE works with standard-setters, policy makers, regulators and government organisations around the world to support and promote the development of fair, transparent, stable and efficient markets. The WFE shares regulatory authorities’ goals of ensuring the safety and soundness of the global financial system.  

 

With extensive experience of developing and enforcing high standards of conduct, the WFE and its members support an orderly, secure, fair and transparent environment for investors; for companies that raise capital; and for all who deal with financial risk. We seek outcomes that maximise the common good, consumer confidence and economic growth. And we engage with policy makers and regulators in an open, collaborative way, reflecting the central, public role that exchanges and CCPs play in a globally integrated financial system.

 

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 / 7850 287 685

Twitter:   @TheWFE

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