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Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP)

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) defined guidelines for Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) to ensure transparency of virtual asset transactions, increase investor protection and keep funds with links to crime and terrorism out of the cryptocurrency-industry. Implementing the FATF’s requirements will increase trust in blockchain technology as the backbone behind a robust and viable means to transfer value.

Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP):

FATF defines VASP’s as any natural person, legal person, or business who conduct one or more of the following activities:

  • an exchange between virtual assets and fiat currencies – such as cryptocurrency exchanges;
  • exchange between one or more forms of virtual assets;
  • transfer of virtual assets;
  • safekeeping and/or administration of virtual assets or instruments enabling control over virtual assets;
  • and participation in and provision of financial services related to an issuer’s offer and/or sale of a virtual asset.

In June 2019, the FATF finalized amendments to its global Standards to clearly place anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) requirements on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers (VASPs). VASPs are often required to be licensed or registered where their place of business is located. The country of Liechtenstein has introduced the first legal framework for VASP’s, financial institutions, or banks handling virtual assets and other blockchain technology companies. This legal framework is called the Trusted Technology Service Provider Act (TVTG) also known as the Blockchain Act Liechtenstein.

Definition: Virtual Asset

The FATF defines a virtual asset as a digital representation of value that can be digitally traded, or transferred, and can be used for payment or investment purposes. According to FATF Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash are Virtual Assets. Virtual assets do not include digital representations of fiat currencies (stablecoins), securities (security tokens), and other financial assets that are already covered elsewhere in the FATF Recommendations.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF)

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an independent inter-governmental body that develops and promotes policies to protect the global financial system against money laundering, terrorist financing, and the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The FATF guidelines and recommendations are recognized as the global anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CFT) standard. 

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