The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) said it has not changed the way it monitors digital assets after Al Jazeera reported that the intergovernmental body was preparing to “carry out annual checks to ensure that countries are enforcing cryptocurrency providers with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulations.”

The FATF declined to comment on “speculation in media reports” but told CoinDesk that it has not changed “the manner or frequency of its assessments” on digital assets defined under Recommendation R.15. All countries should prioritize effective and speedy enforcement of regulations on cryptocurrencies to ensure they are not being misused by criminals, he added.

“This recommendation continues to be evaluated and rated as part of countries’ mutual evaluation or follow-up reports,” a member of the FATF press team wrote in an email to CoinDesk.

Since 2018, the international organization has sought to define virtual assets and service providers to apply the guidelines for anti-money laundering and the fight against the financing of terrorism within the cryptocurrency sector. In 2021 it published updated guidance for virtual asset service providers and earlier this year said that almost half of the world’s jurisdictions still do not require cryptocurrency service providers to properly identify their customers.

In general, the application of FATF regulations to regulate cryptocurrencies “remains extremely weak,” he stated in the email. On the other hand, it also did not change the process by which it adds countries to the gray list in order to carry out more exhaustive supervision. Its annual review is a “targeted update” that provides an overview of global compliance, but countries are not ranked or reranked through the process.

“Implementation of R.15 by countries is a priority for the FATF, and the FATF will continue to explore and take the necessary steps to promote compliance,” he said.

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