A major topic at our most recent training course on Cryptocurrencies and Money Laundering was the so-called “travel rule” introduced in June 2019 by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international standard-setter for money laundering. There were questions over the implications for virtual asset service providers (VASPs), including banks and money services businesses.

The Panama Papers provided proof to the world of something that had long been suspected: the secrecy havens – jurisdictions in which global financial flows were hidden in ways that not even those entrusted with enforcing the laws and regulations of countries around the world could detect – were being used by those engaged in a host of nefarious activities, from tax evasion to corruption and even to child pornography.

Anti-money laundering systems have the potential to curb the use of proceeds of corruption and other crimes by the perpetrators. An effectively implemented anti-money laundering framework limits the channels through which illicit funds can be laundered, making crime riskier and reducing the incentives for corrupt activities.