The popularity and use of cryptocurrencies have increased dramatically in recent years. Still, their dispersed nature makes them hard to regulate, and the deficiency of a clear framework has raised concerns about terrorist financing, money laundering, and consumer protection. More than 90 countries have enacted cryptocurrency regulations since 2014 and enacting 28 cryptocurrency regulations in 2022.
Cointelegraph Research’s Blockchain Regulation Database presents an overview of blockchain and cryptocurrencies’ legal environment and the regulations that apply to various companies. With an easy-to-use interface, the database presents information on topics such as the legal status of cryptocurrencies in multiple jurisdictions, the latest news and updates, and Anti-money Laundering (AML) support and Counter-Terrorism requirements. It is updated weekly and surveys monthly data accuracy verification, which means it can be useful for those involved in the crypto space.
The regulatory environment of cryptocurrencies varies widely around the world. Countries like Switzerland and Japan have established clear rules for cryptocurrencies. Japan was considered “well developed” and “earlier on the move” regarding cryptocurrency regulation. At the same time, Switzerland updated its AML regulations in November 2022 to prevent splitting large payments to avoid identity checks.
South Korea has introduced a virtual assets law that requires all cryptocurrency providers to register with financial regulators and adapt their AML and Know Your Customer (KYC) systems. The country’s Justice Ministry also plans to launch a “virtual currency tracking system” to combat money laundering in 2023 and develop an autonomous tracking system in the second half.
China took a tougher stance by banning initial coin offerings, a widely used fundraising method for cryptocurrency companies.
South and North America
The United States, on the other hand, lacks a general regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. The Securities and Exchange Commission has shown particular interest in this area, launching several high-profile enforcement conducts against companies that have disregarded securities laws concerning their cryptocurrency offerings.
The European Union actively regulates cryptocurrencies and introduced an updated sixth anti-money laundering directive that requires cryptocurrency exchanges to conduct KYC checks on their customers and to report suspicious transactions.
The EU is also considering a new law for cryptocurrencies to align them with existing financial laws. Cryptocurrencies are considered financial instruments in Germany and are subject to duplicate laws as other financial instruments.