New rules expected to boost virtual assets sector

| 02/11/2020 | 11 Comments

(CNS): The Cayman Islands’ ability to regulate and attract individuals and entities in the virtual assets market has been strengthened with the recent commencement of legislation for virtual asset service providers (VASPs), officials have said. They will also help Cayman comply with an important global review. A virtual asset is a digital representation of value that can be electronically traded and used for investment, such as cryptocurrency.

The new rules are expected to boost business in the sector by allowing the supervision of businesses providing services in the arena and help Cayman meet the latest recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force.

In a press release officials from the Ministry of Financial Services said the regulatory framework for VASPs will commence in two phases. Phase one, which started this week, focuses on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism compliance, supervision and enforcement. Current VASPs and new entrants will need to notify and register with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA).

Phase two, which will include licensing requirements and prudential supervision, is expected to come into force in June 2021.

The Virtual Asset (Service Providers) (Amendment) Bill, 2020, which will introduce provisions to better facilitate the phased commencement approach, was published on Thursday, 29 October, and will be presented at the next sitting of the Legislative Assembly.

Cayman’s AML/CFT regime, along with the efforts to counter proliferation financing (CPF), is currently being assessed by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which sets the global AML/CFT/CPF standards.

The CFATF is the regional body that monitors compliance with the FATF standard. Cayman’s VASPs framework incorporates the FATF’s recommendations for AML/CFT/CPF, which the FATF adopted in 2019.

Phase one provides VASPs with the opportunity to demonstrate their compliance with global standards and its launch will be communicated to the CFATF for its consideration prior to the outcome of Cayman’s CFATF re-rating, which will be reported on at their November plenary, officials said.

The FATF review will be completed soon after and government anticipates that the task force will announce its findings by the end of this year. The CFATF’s re-rating evaluates the jurisdiction’s progress in addressing the FATF’s technical compliance concerns identified in Cayman’s Mutual Evaluation Report. The FATF review speaks to Cayman’s effectiveness in implementing the FATF recommendations.

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Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Cayman only had to copy and Paste Bermuda in the way the legislation was passed and executed. Instead they always have to make complicated stances. No wander Bermuda is flourishing in this sector.

  2. Anonymous says:

    another scheme for the land of scams…

    • Anonymous says:

      You obviously have zero understanding of how the sector works and where the world is headed. Cayman, even if behind other jurisdictions is ensuring to work with global stakeholders both from the regulatory side and the innovation happening.

      Crooks, Ponzi schemes, and frauds are not welcome. Innovation and dreamers are welcome.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The law is unworkable. CIMA has no FinTech specialists…. so how can they regulate this complex piece of legislation?

  4. J|) says:

    “and will be presented at the next sitting of the Legislative Assembly.”

    CNS, should this not read next sitting of Parliament now?


  5. Anonymous says:

    And here’s another money making scheme for the ‘tax free’ Island. 12k PE funds registered before 5 August @ roughly $4 a pop so $48mm. How much will this generate and be unaccounted for? Who regulates the regulator?!!?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Bye bye crypto, good riddance

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, the ‘crypto’ crowd want stable legislation. Only crooks want unregulated and opaque systems. It is a new world so get with the program.

      • Anonymous says:

        True, hopefully local interests and influentials are not fooled by the bad magicians that only know how to clear competition but can’t actually provide competitive products.

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