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European Banking Authority issues additional crypto guidelines

News
European Banking Authority issues additional crypto guidelines

The European Union has extended its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) guidelines to include crypto service providers

In a Jan. 16 press release the European Banking Authority has addressed needs to protect the region’s defense against financial crimes in the crypto sector.

The European Banking Authority (EBA), the EU’s primary banking regulatory agency, updated the guidelines specifically to assist crypto asset service providers (CASPs) in identifying and mitigating risks associated with money laundering and terrorist financing.

According to the financial watchdog, such risks stem from threats to customers to channels through which these products are delivered, as well as the geographical locations of crypto operations and the EU’s need to protect consumers.

Key among the new measures is the directive for crypto firms to enhance their crime-fighting tools, potentially incorporating blockchain analytics to more effectively monitor and report suspicious activities.

The EBA emphasized that these amendments are crucial in the EU’s ongoing efforts to combat financial crime. By establishing a harmonized framework for crypto firms across the union, the authority seeks to create a more robust and consistent approach to mitigating the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing within the crypto sector.

The guidelines advise crypto firms to be vigilant about the potential risks associated with anonymity-enhancing features, self-hosted wallets, decentralized platforms and products facilitating transfers to and from such services.

This expanded scope of risk assessment reflects the unique challenges posed by the crypto sector’s diverse and innovative nature. In related developments, EU regulators have been actively investigating banks’ exposure to cryptocurrencies, signaling a broader regulatory focus on the intersection of traditional and digital finance.