Briefing

Money-laundering watchdog to oversee cryptocurrency exchanges from June 2020

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Exchanges will have to identify their clients, keep records of transactions and report suspicious ones to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). Some cryptocurrency dealers are already voluntarily complying with the requirements. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Banks have so far avoided working with exchanges because of the risk of being caught up in money laundering or terrorist financing potentially conducted through cryptocurrency. FINTRAC’s monitoring addresses those concerns. But complying with the new rules could be difficult, given the anonymity of crypto transactions. Charlene Cieslik, Coinsquare’s chief anti-money-laundering officer, said the exchange can’t always identify to whom a client is selling coins, or from whom they are buying them. And, exchanges could face another round of new rules, this time from provincial regulators. In a March consultation paper, the Canadian Securities Administrators and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada raised concerns about the platforms’ cybersecurity, whether they separate clients’ funds from their own and how they store the private keys to customers’ wallets.