25 July 2018

Sound of one hand clapping as G20 fails to deliver on crypto

Regulators failed to produce guidance at a G20 meeting which ended up becoming a meeting about a meeting.

The widely-expected guidance on cryptocurrency regulation failed to surface at the recent G20 Forum. The G20 did not meet its self-imposed deadline for delivering ‘very specific recommendations,’ which industry insiders were waiting for to spur regulatory clarity globally.

Elusive

Cryptocurrencies will continue elusive for regulators, at until least October, assuming the G20 comes up with guidance then. The G20 released a summary of interim decisions made by the dedicated Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FATF) group, but it was devoid of the expected regulatory steps regarding cryptoassets. The forum had received results from a four-month consultation period, which FATF launched during a previous gathering in March. Having said they were obliged to create what they called “very specific recommendations” this summer on how to approach cryptocurrencies at international level, the obligation or resolve has at best mellowed. The statement from the forum said they asked ‘the FATF to clarify in October 2018 how its standards apply to cryptoassets.’

The show goes on

The summary statement explained, ‘technological innovations, including those underlying cryptoassets, can deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy, however crypto-assets ‘raise issues with respect to consumer and investor protection, market integrity, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing.’ The summary echoes recent rhetoric from domestic regulators, the European Commission and the French government, the latter issuing a report under finance minister Bruno Le Maire, who had publicly called for the G20 to debate cryptocurrency but also fell short of offering anything substantive. The crypto show, and regulatory meetings, will no doubt run and run.