Regulation and respectability amid the rapid evolution of cryptoassets

If recent news is anything to go by, the cryptoasset industry is continuing to evolve at breakneck pace.

In the last few weeks alone, El Salvador became the first country to accept digital currency as legal tender, the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) called for more powers to protect consumers from risky crypto ventures promoted by influencers like Kim Kardashian, and Jay Clayton (former head of the Securities and Exchange Commission) became the latest high-profile regulator to turn to the crypto industry.

Despite this rapid transformation, many observers still think of it as being akin to the Wild West after the Silk Road darknet marketplace or criminally-complicit trading exchange Liberty Reserve - scandals that marred crypto's early years.

At the same time, many financial institutions and investors remain undeterred thanks to rapid diversification, and the inclusion of fast-growing and technologically groundbreaking new enterprises. For example, Coinbase launched its initial public offering earlier this year with a staggering $85 billion valuation, while banks such as JP Morgan have developed a proprietary blockchain system.

The question is, how do we square this nascent sector's growth and innovation with its lingering reputation for enabling illicit financial flows and get-rich-quick scams?

The whitepaper, Navigating the Path to Respectability: Making sense of the financial crime risk posed by cryptoassets and how to manage it appropriately, written in partnership with UK Finance and financial crime compliance experts Plenitude, will:

  • demystify and deconstruct the real balance of risk vs opportunity and place the cryptoasset industry within a spectrum of risk, like traditional sectors
  • weigh up and analyse the financial crime risks posed by cryptoassets, including money laundering, sanctions evasion and fraud, and how financial institutions can assess their risk appetite and exposure
  • explain how traditional financial institutions and cryptoasset providers can work together, share intelligence to trace illicit money flows, and build on underlying technology to innovate regtech solutions to tackle criminality more effectively.

You can download the whitepaper and join Plenitude's live panel (or if you miss it, listen to the recording) in partnership with UK Finance, Banking Cryptoassets - managing financial crime risk for an innovative industry, which takes place at 1pm on Thursday 16 September. A panel featuring Plenitude's founder Alan Paterson together with senior leaders will offer a candid assessment of the strengths and weaknesses in managing a growing industry through embedded control frameworks and screening tools.

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