MONEYVAL prioritizes crypto industry monitoring to prevent money laundering

MONEYVAL has prioritized monitoring the crypto industry, as well as gatekeeper professionals like attorneys and accountants.
MONEYVAL has prioritized monitoring the crypto industry, as well as gatekeeper professionals like attorneys and accountants.

MONEYVAL, Europe’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT) watchdog has prioritized monitoring the crypto industry, as well as “gatekeeper” professionals like attorneys and accountants, in European countries’ efforts to prevent money laundering.

MONEYVAL called on European countries to review compliance with global standards and develop stricter regulatory strategies to counter money laundering facilitated by digital currencies in a press release based on the findings of its annual study.

The Pandora Papers, according to Elbieta Frankow-Jakiewicz, chief of MONEVYAL, is an illustration of how experts functioning as “gatekeepers” can help the rich and corrupt launder their money. 

“A newer money laundering trend is related to the emerging virtual assets sector, the increasing global use of cryptocurrencies, and other components of the rapidly evolving ecosystem of so-called “decentralized finance” (DeFi),” she added.

MONEYVAL reports 18 of the 22 jurisdictions insufficient to comply

Moneyval is a Council of Europe anti-money laundering (AML) oversight organization that covers 47 European states. The task group is in charge of examining and proposing changes in policy that have an impact on national legislative reforms.

The research determined that among its monitored jurisdictions, the median level of compliance with the Financial Action Task Force or FATF requirements falls below the satisfactory criterion. MONEYVAL found that eighteen of the twenty-two jurisdictions assessed were insufficiently compliant with AML regulations. In February, a group of EU member countries, including the Netherlands, Spain, Austria, Italy, and Luxembourg, were reportedly planning for an AML regulator to oversee crypto firms.

Later this year, the European watchdog will launch separate research to look into money laundering patterns involving virtual assets.

While regulators continue to express concern about the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and other illegal activities, the latest data from blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis suggests that less than 1% of the total circulating supply of cryptocurrency was used for illegal activities in 2021.