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欧洲反洗钱条例延误了六年才走上美国之路

wuya 2019-12-2 15:21

到2020年1月,与过去10年相比,欧盟对加密业务的监管格局将彻底改变——这些变化将影响到所有存储客户加密资金或至少提供fiat-to-crypto交换服务的机构。


不久前,反洗钱规定的范围扩大到欧盟的加密货币托管、钱包服务提供商和加密到菲亚特(fiat)的交易所。被称为欧盟第五反洗钱指令的立法于2018年7月9日生效,并将于2020年1月10日前转化为欧盟各成员国的国家立法。在那之前,多数情况下,加密货币不受欧盟监管体制的约束。


2013年,美国金融犯罪执法网络(Financial Crimes Enforcement Network,简称FinCEN)首次为加密货币行业参与者(主要是兑换商和管理人员)引入了一项解释性指导,这与欧盟很相似,美国也被迫对这一新兴资产类别采取了行动。兑换商是从事数字货币兑换业务的个人或实体,而管理人员是从事发行或兑换数字货币业务的个人或实体。


随着欧盟成员国将新指令纳入本国立法,美国的加密货币监管已经实施了五年多。我们应该从这一长期经验中吸取什么教训?与美国相比,我们对欧盟市场的监管有何期待?

 

相似之处


研究欧盟和美国的案例,我们可以发现监管方法的明显相似之处。这两个司法管辖区都强调加密货币监管对打击洗钱和打击恐怖主义融资的重要性。今年6月,20国集团在日本举行了一次会议,会议强调了对加密资产的一些担忧,会议称:


“虽然目前加密资产不会对全球金融稳定构成威胁,但我们仍对风险保持警惕,包括与消费者和投资者保护、反洗钱(AML)和反恐融资(CFT)相关的风险。”


因此,特定的加密服务提供商面临着与传统金融机构相同的要求,包括金融监管机构的授权、客户身份识别(KYC)、持续账户监控、记录保存和可疑活动报告。


值得注意的是,欧盟成员国可以像美国一样,在本国立法中实施更严格的反洗钱措施在美国,各州被允许实施更严格的监管,只要它们不违反美国联邦法律。


这样,欧盟和美国的主管部门就可以更密切地监控加密货币的使用。它允许防止将非法资金注入金融系统,并禁止由于与加密货币相关的某种程度的匿名性而以非法目的隐藏转移。


尽管如此,这两个司法管辖区的目标都是使这种监测平衡和均衡,以保障金融科技的技术进步。

 

一些关键的区别


定义-尽管欧盟和美国采用相同的方法来规范密码,但还是有一些区别,他们从定义开始。加密服务提供者获得“义务实体”的状态下的第五次反洗钱指令,或5 amld,在欧盟,等于“覆盖金融机构”在美国——这两个定义有相同的目的,那就是使加密服务提供者符合既定的银行业规则在每个监管机构的管辖。


监管重点- 5AMLD涵盖托管钱包服务提供商和密码到菲亚特的交换,而美国联邦监管制度适用于交换或传输密码的提供商,而与菲亚特货币无关。


立法合规——美国有两个级别的监管:联邦和州。因此,加密服务提供商必须确保两个级别的遵从性。有趣的是,在美国的一些州,加密服务提供商可能会受到当地法律的豁免。相比之下,这在欧盟是不可能的,因为每个成员国的立法必须与5AMLD的规定相同或更严格。


数据保护-最后的区别是对数据保护的态度。在欧盟,《一般资料保障规例》适用于根据《个人资料(私隐)条例》第5AMLD条而收集的个人资料的处理工作,这意味着密码交易所及钱包供应商有责任确保采取适当措施,以保障其收集的客户资料。迄今为止,美国还没有制定任何有关隐私或数据收集的联邦法规虽然隐私法已经开始在美国的一些州出现。

 

受益所有权VS.客户尽职调查


另一件重要的事情是受益所有权规则的引入。在欧盟,它要求有义务的实体收集有关其客户受益所有人身份的信息。


与此类似,我们在美国也有客户尽职调查规则,要求金融机构收集所有法人客户的受益所有人信息。事实上,在美国,此规则并不直接适用于密码服务供应商。然而,加密业务通常将CDD规则作为基于风险的方法的一部分。这也有助于满足金融伙伴的期望。


除此之外,5AMLD还要求欧盟成员国将受益所有人的信息公布在国家公共登记册上,这些登记册应在欧盟层面相互连接,以促进跨境合作,并方便监管机构和金融情报机构获取信息。


相反,许多美国人猜测,各州很快也会效仿,建立一个追踪实体实益所有权的全国数据库。目前,根据《美国爱国者法案》第314(b)条,只有可选的FinCEN项目,允许金融机构在包括其他金融机构和执法机构在内的利益相关方之间共享客户实体的受益所有权信息,但仅限于洗钱和防止恐怖主义融资。

 

我们可以从美国的经验中学到什么?


加密货币在美国现行的货币传送法下已经被监管了六年。除FinCEN外,美国证券交易委员会(sec)和商品期货交易委员会(cftc)等其他监管机构也在寻求将密码部分纳入其管辖范围。


随着市场的发展,随着建立在这种新兴资产类别之上的金融产品不断创新,解决这种监管重叠的动力可能会变得更加明显。监管也为客户提供了一定程度的保护,这将信任扩展到可靠的服务提供商,他们寻求利用受监管的市场。


我们相信,欧盟对密码的监管将会带来同样的结果,使密码市场得到更广泛的采用,并促进欧盟金融体系的稳定。我们还认为,就像在美国各州一样,我们可能会看到不同程度的加密服务提供商及其监管细节的僵化,从一个欧盟成员国到另一个成员国。


欧盟正在迎头赶上,变得更加协调,类似于2013年FinCEN在美国提供初步指导后所发生的情况,拓宽了受监管机构的定义,将它们纳入“反洗钱”/“反洗钱”要求的范畴。欧盟和美国的主要区别在于监管的范围。5AMLD扩展到托管钱包服务提供商和加密到菲亚特的交换,而FinCEN覆盖加密交换和传输活动,而与菲亚特货币无关。

 

In January 2020, the regulatory landscape for crypto businesses will completely change in the European Union in comparison with the last decade — and these changes will touch all those who store clients’ crypto funds or provide fiat-to-crypto exchange services, at minimum.

Not long ago, the Anti-Money Laundering regulations were extended to cover cryptocurrency custodian wallet service providers and crypto-to-fiat exchanges in the EU. The legislation known as the EU Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive entered into force on July 9, 2018, and shall be transposed into the national legislation of each EU member state by Jan. 10, 2020. Before that, cryptocurrencies, in most cases, fell outside of the EU regulatory regime. 

Related: Do Lawmakers Use AML as an Excuse to Centralize Crypto and Blockchain?

Much like the EU, the United States was also compelled to act on this emerging asset class when, in 2013, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, for the first time introduced an interpretive guidance for cryptocurrency industry participants, mainly exchangers and administrators. Exchangers are persons or entities who engage as a business in the exchange of digital currency for real currency, whereas administrators are persons or entities that engage as a business in issuing or redeeming a digital currency.

As the EU member states transpose the new directive into their national legislation, it will already be over half a decade since cryptocurrency regulation came into force in the U.S. What should we learn from this long-standing experience? And what should we expect from the regulation of the EU market as compared to the U.S.?

On the same page

Studying both the EU and the U.S. cases, we can note the explicit resemblance of regulatory approaches. Both jurisdictions stress the significance of cryptocurrency regulation to combat money laundering and counter the financing of terrorism. Back in June, the G-20 held a meeting in Japan and underlined some concerns about crypto assets, stating:

“While crypto-assets do not pose a threat to global financial stability at this point, we remain vigilant to risks, including those related to consumer and investor protection, anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT).”

As such, specific crypto service providers face the same requirements as traditional financial institutions in terms of authorization from a financial regulator, customer identification (KYC), ongoing account monitoring, recordkeeping and suspicious activity reporting.

Notably, EU member states are free to impose stricter anti-money laundering measures in their national legislation much like the U.S., where states are permitted to impose more stringent regulations as long as they do not conflict with U.S. federal law.

In this way, competent authorities in the EU and the U.S. can more closely monitor the use of cryptocurrency. It allows for the prevention of placing illicit money into the financial system and excludes concealing transfers with unlawful purposes because of the certain degree of anonymity associated with cryptocurrency. 

Nevertheless, both jurisdictions aim to make such monitoring balanced and proportional to safeguard the technical advances of fintech.

Some of the key differences

Definitions — Despite the EU and the U.S. following the same approach to regulating crypto, there are some differences, and they start from the definition. Crypto service providers obtain the status of “obliged entities” under the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, or 5AMLD, in the EU, which is equal to “covered financial institutions” in the U.S. — both definitions have the same purpose, which is to make crypto service providers comply with the established banking rules in each regulatory jurisdiction.

Focus of regulation — 5AMLD covers custodian wallet service providers and crypto-to-fiat exchanges, while the U.S. federal regulatory regime applies to providers exchanging or transmitting crypto regardless of fiat currency involvement. 

Legislative compliance — The U.S. has two levels of regulation: federal and state. Therefore, crypto service providers must ensure two levels of compliance. Interestingly, a crypto service provider may be exempt by local laws in some U.S. states. Comparably, this is not possible in the EU, where the legislation in each member state must be equal or stricter to 5AMLD provisions.

Data protection — The final distinction is the attitude toward data protection. In the EU, the General Data Protection Regulation applies to the processing of personal data collected for the purposes of AML/CFT under 5AMLD, which means that crypto exchanges and wallet providers are obliged to ensure appropriate measures to protect the information they collect on their customers. To date, no federal privacy or data collection regulation has been enacted in the U.S., although privacy laws have started to appear in some U.S. states.

Related: GDPR and Blockchain: Is the New EU Data Protection Regulation a Threat or an Incentive?

Beneficial ownership vs. customer due-diligence

Another important thing is the introduction of the beneficial ownership rule. In the EU, it requires obliged entities to collect information about the identity of the beneficial owners of its customers. 

Analogous to this, we have the Customer Due Diligence rule in the U.S., which requires financial institutions to collect the beneficial owner information on all legal entity customers. In fact, in the U.S., this rule does not cover crypto service providers directly. Nevertheless, crypto businesses usually consider the CDD rule as a part of their risk-based approach. This also helps to meet the expectations of financial partners.

Besides this, 5AMLD obliges EU member states to make information on beneficial owners available on state public registers, which should be interconnected on the EU level to facilitate cross-border cooperation and access to information by regulators and financial intelligence units. 

To the contrary, many in the U.S. have speculated that states will soon follow suit and create a national database that tracks the beneficial ownership of entities. Currently, there is only the optional FinCEN program under the USA PATRIOT Act’s Section 314(b), allowing financial institutions to share beneficial ownership information on customer entities among the interested parties, including other financial institutions and law enforcement, but exclusively for the purpose of money laundering and terrorism financing prevention. 

What can we learn from the U.S. experience?

Cryptocurrency has been regulated in the U.S. under existing money transmitter laws for six years now. Apart from FinCEN, other U.S. regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission have sought to bring crypto partially under their jurisdictions. 

As the market evolves, and as financial products built on top of this emerging asset class continue to innovate, the impetus to solve this regulatory overlap may become more pronounced. Regulation also gives a certain level of protection to customers, which extends trust to reliable service providers who seek to avail themselves of the regulated market.

We believe the regulation of crypto in the EU will lead to the same results of bringing greater adoption to the crypto market and facilitating the stability of the EU financial system. We also think that much like in U.S. states, we may see varying degrees of rigidity in regard to crypto service providers and the specifics of their regulation from one EU member state to another. 

The EU is catching up and becoming more harmonized, analogous to what happened after FinCEN provided initial guidance in the U.S. back in 2013, by broadening the definition of regulated institutions and bringing them under the umbrella of AML/CFT requirements. The main difference between the EU and the U.S. approaches lies in the scope of regulation. 5AMLD extends to custodian wallet service providers and crypto-to-fiat exchanges, while FinCEN covers crypto exchange and transmission activity regardless of fiat currency involvement. 

    来自: cointelegraph