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FATF’s Proposed AML Standards Could Put an End to Bitcoin Usage by the Islamic State and Other Terrorist Groups


Recently, the Assistant US Treasury Secretary and President of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Marshall Billingslea, expressed his concern on behalf of the entire task force about the money laundering and associated criminal activity that has been associated with cryptocurrencies ever since their inception.

To combat this, the FATF will likely present a series of global stands in October that will “close the anti-money laundering gaps around the world” which have been allowing the crypto-based companies and exchanges to carry illegal transactions – knowingly or unknowingly – of virtual tokens across borders and into anonymous wallets.

Speaking in Paris on the matter, Billingslea declared:

It is essential that we establish a global set of standards that are applied in a uniform manner.

He also highlighted, as an example, how the Islamic State uses Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to provide funding to terrorists in Syria, describing it as “an example of a very worrisome trend-line that we see.”

According to Billingslea, adopting these standards would directly impact the Islamic State – and other groups like them – by putting a significant stranglehold on their funding programs.

Similar efforts are underway in other countries as well. Last week, a group of British MPs published a report about how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies need to be regulated in order to bring them out of the “wild west”.

Member of Parliament Nicky Morgan stated:

Bitcoin and other crypto-assets exist in the wild west industry of crypto-assets. This unregulated industry leaves investors facing numerous risks.

She further added:

Given the high price volatility, the hacking vulnerability of exchanges and the potential role in money laundering, the Treasury committee strongly believes that regulation should be introduced.

Do you think that regulation is the key to eliminating the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and funding of criminal/terrorist activities? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Image courtesy of ShutterStock


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