Briefing

FinTRAC triples number of cryptocurrency cases reported to law enforcement

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The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FinTRAC), which is responsible for monitoring money laundering and terrorist financing, reported 61 incidents in the last fiscal year, up from 19 the year before. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: The surge in reports comes ahead of new regulations bringing cryptocurrency exchanges under the authority of FinTRAC starting in June 2020, when they will be legally required to register with the agency, keep records on their clients and report suspicious transactions. The RCMP has also stepped up its efforts, making training staff on virtual currency a “top priority,” according to Staff Sergeant Stephen Dibblee. The increased regulation of exchanges could fundamentally change the landscape of cryptocurrency in Canada. Tighter rules may make banks and other financial institutions more open to dealing with virtual-currency businesses, since traditional financial institutions face stringent anti-money-laundering regulations. However, the regulations may also lead large international exchanges to refuse service to Canadian clients to avoid subjecting themselves to the new rules, which would force them to identify as foreign money-services businesses and keep track of identifying information about their clients.