The crypto company is faced with a lot of obstacles in the way forward. Anyone interested in the cryptocurrency sector is aware that it is not only regulations that pose the greatest threat to the viability of the venture, but also lack of access to very basic financial requirements, such as a bank account. This is threatening to bring down the crypto business by shutting it out of the mainstream economy.
Such practices are referred to as de-risking. De-risking can be brought about by a number of factors such as prudential needs, profitability concerns, anxiety after the global financial crisis or even esteem concerns. Actually, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) identifies de-risking as the event where financial institutions discontinue or limit their business relationship with some clients or a sector of clients.
Nevertheless, the FATF only allows financial institutions to put an end to business relationships on a case-by-case basis, not to cut off the entire business field. Nevertheless, this remains a major obstacle for the cryptocurrency industry. Nevertheless, this may soon change due to the much-awaited Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive of the European Union, also referred to as AMLD5
Cryptocurrency Business Falls Under the Same Designation as Banks
The Directive, which was introduced in July 2018, considers virtual assets and virtual asset service providers as ‘ ‘obliged entities.’ This means that cryptocurrency organizations, such as exchanges and wallet service providers, come under the same designation as banks, payment processors, gaming and gambling entities. Provided a cryptocurrency business is approved and compliant with the relevant authorities, it should be treated in the same manner as the above entities.
Going forward, in the light of AMLD5, financial institutions such as banks should handle AML risks individually or directly. They should not deny services to the entire sector but deal with such cases on an individual basis. A bank can not deny service solely because an entity belongs to the cryptocurrency sector.
Indeed, this presents both an opportunity and a challenge to the digital assets industry. To realize its true potential and even reshape the financial sector, crypto and blockchain technology should welcome criticism from regulators across the globe. These businesses should use the AMLD5 as a stepping stone, a drive to prove to the whole world the significance and commitment to providing real-life solutions and transparency. Those working on developing solutions using the blockchain technology should be open to working with the government, the regulators and even financial institutions to create a regulated, clear business framework that recognizes the fundamentals of the crypto world.
Furthermore, we can say the AMLD5 is a very positive development for the virtual assets space. It is of utmost importance now for the founders and developers to work with EU regulators and even others to build a working relationship that works for everybody. Although the AMLD5 has its own disadvantages, it is a start for the digital currency industry to put a foot inside the mainstream economy positively. This will enable the industry to expand, grow and even flourish.
It is my aspiration that AMLD5 should be a message to financial institutions that the virtual currency industry should be treated in the same way as all other business sectors. Cryptocurrency should be treated fairly, on a case-by-case basis, like all the others. It is time for all stakeholders to come together and use this technology to provide real-life solutions to the world.