The world’s leading economies have agreed a strategy to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges in the same way as they lay down rules for commercial banks to operate.
The plan was drawn up by the Financial Action Task Force– a talking shop and think-tank for 353 of the world’s leading economic nations.
A report agreed and circulated at the last meeting of the FATF is likely to be adopted by each nation.
The proposal says the move is to stop crooks and terrorists misusing cryptocurrencies for illegal transactions.
The move will toughen restrictions on how cryptocurrency exchanges operate and will be applied in the same way by each nations.
The FATF nations are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the UK, and the US.
Hong Kong, the European Commission and the Gulf Cooperation Council sit on FATF as well.
“Countries should consider virtual assets as ‘property,’ ‘proceeds,’ ‘funds,’ ‘funds or other assets,’ or other ‘corresponding value’, “ says FATF.
“Countries should apply the relevant measures under the FATF recommendations to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers and identify, assess, and take effective action to mitigate their money laundering and terrorist financing risks.”
FATF also wants regulators to licence exchanges.
Cryptomining sees massive surge
Crypto mining jumped by 237% last year – but is shrinking in line with plunging coin prices, says monitor Trend Micro.
Phishing for financial and personal details also surged by 269% last year, while business email compromise attacks were up 28%.
“The changes across the threat landscape in 2018 reflect a change in cybercriminal’s mindset,” said Jon Clay, director of global threat communications for Trend Micro.
“Today’s most prevalent attacks are targeted and well planned, as opposed to one-size-fits-all attacks of the past. Knowing this pattern, we’re developing products that can outsmart these attack methods and allow us to be one step ahead of the bad guys.”
Meanwhile, ransomware strikes dropped by 45% as organisations step up security following some well-publicised incidents in 2018.