July 24, 2024
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Peru Tightens Crypto Laws, Mandates Exchanges To Comply With AML Regulations

To address mounting concerns surrounding money laundering and terrorist financing associated with cryptocurrencies, the Presidency of Peru has issued a groundbreaking decree. The mandate requires all cryptocurrency exchanges within the country to adhere to stringent anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. By taking this proactive step, the Peruvian government seeks to regulate the cryptocurrency ecosystem and fortify its financial system against illicit activities.

Virtual Asset Service Providers to Comply with Anti-Money Laundering Regulations

Under the new decree, all virtual asset service providers, encompassing individuals and companies operating within Peru, must report vital information to the Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF-Peru). The UIF-Peru is critical in receiving, analyzing, and disseminating information to detect money laundering and terrorism financing activities. The comprehensive definition of “Virtual Asset Service Providers” includes entities engaged in various cryptocurrency-related activities, such as exchanging virtual assets for fiat currencies, transferring different forms of virtual assets, offering custody and administration services for virtual assets, and providing financial services linked to the sale or offer of virtual assets.

A central objective of this decree is to ensure that cryptocurrency exchanges in Peru fully comply with the recommendations outlined by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The “travel rule” of FATF, which emphasizes Know Your Customer (KYC) standards, is particularly stressed. By implementing robust KYC practices and sharing customer data, exchanges aim to enhance transparency and thwart illicit activities within the crypto space. With the decree now in effect, the Financial Intelligence Unit is expected to release more specific guidelines in the coming days, providing further clarity on the obligations and responsibilities of virtual asset service providers in Peru.

Controversy Arises as Blockchain Association Seeks Greater Inclusion in Regulatory Process

While the decree signifies the Peruvian government’s intention to address the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, it has been subject to controversy. The Blockchain & DLT Association of Peru (ABPE), a community comprising professionals and enthusiasts advocating for adopting Bitcoin and blockchain technology, has expressed dissatisfaction. The ABPE claims the proposal was drafted without their involvement and consultation with the broader Peruvian community. In response, the ABPE urges Congress to initiate a dialogue with representatives from the cryptocurrency ecosystem to ensure that all perspectives are considered in the regulatory process. Their call for greater inclusion aims to balance fostering innovation and addressing concerns raised by cryptocurrencies’ decentralized and pseudonymous nature.

 

As cryptocurrencies continue gaining traction globally, numerous countries face the challenges their unique characteristics pose. Peru’s decision to tighten regulations and bring cryptocurrency exchanges under AML guidelines reflects a global trend of governments seeking to safeguard their financial systems while promoting technological innovation. The new decree represents a significant stride in Peru’s efforts to combat financial crimes and protect its economy from potential cryptocurrency risks. As the industry stakeholders respond to the government’s call for increased compliance, the impact of these regulations on Peru’s cryptocurrency landscape will be closely monitored in the coming days.