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FATF approves Japan’s plan to establish global network for crypto payments: Report

Thu, 18 Jul 2019, 11:49 am UTC

Japan is reportedly spearheading a global effort to establish an international network for cryptocurrency payments.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that Japan’s Ministry of Finance and the Financial Services Agency (FSA) submitted a plan on the said initiative to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and got the approval last month.

While it remains unclear as to how the network would function, the source said that it would be similar to SWIFT, the international payments messaging system currently used by banks for sending money around the world. The objective is to fight money laundering activities, the source added.

The progress of the project will be monitored by an inter-governmental team at the FATF. Last month, France led an effort to create a G7 task force to explore how central banks can ensure that cryptocurrencies like Facebook’s Libra are regulated, particularly with regards to anti-money laundering and consumer-protection rules.

Japan will collaborate with other countries on the initiative with plans to launch the network in the next couple of years, the source said.

Meanwhile, the FATF released its final cryptocurrency guidelines on June 21 and submitted the proposal to the governments of the Group of Twenty (G20) countries at the 2019 G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. The group officially lent support for the guidelines, saying:

“We reaffirm our commitment to applying the recently amended FATF Standards to virtual assets and related providers for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.”

Moreover, the G7 finance ministers meeting, being held in France this week, is also expected to discuss cryptocurrencies. On Wednesday, July 17, the G7 leaders turned their attention to Facebook’s much-hyped cryptocurrency project “Libra.” German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told journalists:

“I am convinced that we must act quickly and that (Libra) cannot go ahead without all legal and regulatory questions being resolved.”

Facebook’s blockchain head David Marcus testified before the U.S. lawmakers and the Senate Banking Committee this week and emphasized that the crypto project would not be launched until all regulatory concerns are fully addressed.

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