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The president of a global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog is calling on the G-7 to put an end to “lawless spaces” and to take the lead to regulate cryptocurrencies.

Financial Action Task Force President Raja Kumar called on the finance ministers from some of the world’s seven most influential economies to implement recommendations from the FATF, which include going after money laundering and terrorism financing.

The FATF president said that also includes the travel rule — a requirement that requires crypto service providers to share certain information about transactions to prevent misuse by criminals and terrorists. 

“G7 countries should lead by example and regulate the crypto sector so that no virtual safe havens exist for illicit financial transactions,” Kumar said in a post published on Thursday to Twitter.
 

Countries have made progress in implementing FATF’s standards, Kumar said, but updated crypto requirements have been “poor.”

“In 2019, FATF extended its global anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing standards to crypto assets. However, 73% of countries – including some G20 countries – are still non-compliant or only partially compliant with the FATF Standards and have not yet begun to supervise crypto activity. This unacceptable situation must be urgently addressed.”

The meet-up

Kumar’s post comes right before the G-7 will meet this weekend to discuss a wide range of issues from nuclear weapons to potentially crypto.

Ahead of the G-7 Japan Summit, the group of seven discussed their commitment to regulating crypto-assets and said it looked forward to the Financial Stability Board’s “finalization of its high-level recommendations by July 2023.”

The FSB, an international advisory body created by the G20, laid out its recommendations for crypto regulation in October 2022. 

Risks have increased, including ransomware payments almost exclusive using crypto, Kumar said. 

“Countries need to take urgent action to shut down lawless spaces, which allow criminals, terrorists and rogue states to use crypto assets,” Kumar said. 

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