The Geneva-based, Facebook-led Libra cryptocurrency will have to adhere to stringent regulations, Reuters reported on Tuesday (Sept. 10).
U.S. Under Secretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker told Geneva reporters that all cryptocurrency projects operating in the U.S. will be required to comply with regulatory standards to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing.
“Whether it’s bitcoin, Ethereum, Libra, our message is the same to all of these companies: Anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism has to be built into your design from the get-go,” she said.
Mandelker held a meeting to discuss cryptocurrencies with the Swiss government, officials from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and others.
“Switzerland, like a number of other countries, has promoted itself as a hub for FinTech and for innovation, and so, of course, any country that promotes itself in that way – in my view, it’s incumbent upon that country to take these particular concerns at the highest level in(to) the utmost regard,” she added.
Thus far, the digital currency industry has focused primarily on developing and optimizing the technology that powers it, Mandelker noted, and there has been far too little attention on ensuring that crypto networks are not providing a haven for terrorists, fraudsters and other criminals to send and conceal funds.
The meeting agenda included discussions around money laundering, terrorism and what type of enforcement would be used to ensure that coin companies comply with regulations.
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in August awarded the country’s first banking and securities licenses to blockchain service providers SEBA Crypto AG and Sygnum AG. Those are the first firms to be registered in Switzerland as broker-dealers with a blockchain focus. They will be required to follow the new anti-money laundering (AML) requirements that FINMA revealed earlier in August.