Financial ministers and central bankers from the G20 states met over the weekend in Argentina to discuss the challenges for the global economy. They reiterated their position that cryptocurrencies do not pose a risk to the financial stability. The officials also called on the Financial Action Task Force to clarify by October how its anti-money laundering standards apply to crypto-assets.
Reiterated: Cryptocurrencies Not a Risk to Stability
The representatives of the G20 member-states said in a communique released after the meetings on July 21-22 that growth remains robust and unemployment is at a decade low. However, they also noted the need to strengthen the dialog and adopt measures to mitigate the risks for economic development like “rising financial vulnerabilities, heightened trade and geopolitical tensions, global imbalances, inequality and structurally weak growth.”
The statement does mention cryptocurrencies, or crypto-assets as they are called, but not among the risks that need to be addressed immediately. “While crypto-assets do not at this point pose a global financial stability risk, we remain vigilant,” the government officials stated. G20 members also issued a warning that sounds familiar – cryptos “raise issues with respect to consumer and investor protection, market integrity, tax evasion, money laundering and terrorist financing.”
Ministers and bankers didn’t miss the chance to point out, not for the first time, that crypto-assets, “lack the key attributes of sovereign money.” And, of course, they didn’t skip another favorite talking point of governments and regulators – “technological innovations, including those underlying crypto-assets, can deliver significant benefits to the financial system and the broader economy,” a confession that’s not really a concession.
G20 Wants AML Crypto Standard in October
The participants in the meeting reiterated their commitments from the G20 summit in March regarding the implementation of the standards on combating money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation adopted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). They called on FATF to clarify in October this year how these AMLstandards apply to crypto-assets. The G20 also welcomed the updates provided by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the standard setting bodies, adding that it expected them to continue to monitor the potential risks of crypto-assets and assess multilateral responses.
FSB, an international organization that makes recommendations about the global financial system, announced last week a framework to monitor the financial stability implications of crypto-asset markets, as reported. It has been developed together with the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), another international body serving as a standard setter for payment, clearing, and settlement arrangements.
The previous meeting of the Group of Twenty, on March 19-20, ended with pretty much the same results, as far as cryptocurrencies are concerned. The forum did not adopt unified crypto-related regulations but urged FATF to apply their standards to crypto-assets. Right before the last summit, the Financial Stability Board dismissed calls from member-states for global crypto rules. FSB’s assessment at the time was identical – crypto-assets do not pose risks to the global financial stability.
The G20 is an international forum of government officials and central bank governors from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the Republic of South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union – the economies that account for 85% of the gross world product and 80% of the world trade. Many of its members have already called for adopting global crypto regulations.