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Economy

Money Laundering Worries Push Cyprus Cryptocurrency Moves

December 16, 2021

NICOSIA – Already struggling with a reputation as being haven for tax evasion and money laundering, Cyprus is reportedly going to regulate the cryptocurrency where it has been rife.

The Finance Ministry has released a national risk assessment on crypto that found there are money laundering risks associated with the currency alternative and a “limited direct understanding or experience with it.”

While noting that the Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and local enforcement authorities have demonstrated a “sophisticated level of understanding of the sector,”the ministry recommended that local financial companies “adopt written policies and procedures to comply” with the wire transfer rule for virtual currencies.

In the meantime, authorities should start to maintain and share data that is specific to virtual currencies and VASPs, the ministry said, adding:

“Although activity levels now are believed to be negligible, this will enable an evidence-based baseline as activities increase, promoting earlier detection of risks or changes to risk levels,” the site CoinTelegraph reported.

Cyprus has been moving to adopt crypto-related regulations this year after some major financial institutions, including the Bank of Cyprus were allegedly blocking Bitcoin (BTC)-related transactions this year, according to reports on social media, the site added.

 

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