BLOCKCHAIN

IMF Calls for ‘Urgent Action’ on Malta’s Bank Supervision

MALTA – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) should take “urgent action” against money-laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT), according the Times of Malta on Feb. 28.

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“Containing financial integrity risks is critical to financial stability,” the IMF said in their recent report.

“A multi-prong approach is needed to address anti-money laundering AML/CFT deficiencies. Enhancing the AML/CFT system is required to protect the financial sector and the broader economy from the ML/TF [money laundering/terrorism financing] threats.”

The IMF report went on to state that more screening measures need to be in place for monitoring risk-sesative accounts, including new technologies like cryptocurrencies and e-gaming.

“The challenges facing the MFSA [Malta Financial Services Authority] from the increased demands of supervising the growing number of licensed financial institutions in an evolving and more complex regulatory environment, as well as the need to upgrade the MFSA’s operational capacity to enable it to operate more effectively,” the IMF notes.

Recently, Malta has become known for their pro-blockchain stance and even earned the nickname the ‘Blockchain Island’ after major industry players began setting up their base of operations there, including Binance and OKEx.

In January, the IMF stated they had concerns regarding possible anti-money laundering compliance violations, specifically citing blockchain, online gaming, and the government’s citizenship-by-investment scheme.

“The increasing number of financial entities under supervision, the rapid development of new products, the evolving regulatory environment and the tightening of the labor market have put the Malta Financial Services Authority under considerable strain.”

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BITCOIN, BLOCKCHAIN

IMF Pleas for Global Collaboration on Cryptocurrency

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), an association whose goals include fostering global monetary cooperation, securing financial stability, and reducing poverty, has stated cryptocurrency deserves a “greater international discussion and cooperation among regulators.”

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“When asset prices go up quickly, risks can accumulate, particularly if market participants are borrowing money to buy. It’s important for people to be aware of the risks and take the necessary risk-management measures,” said IMF spokesman, Gerry Rice.

In September of 2017, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, said she believes cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin could give fiat currencies a “run for their money”.

Lagarde continued telling reporters it is “not wise” to disregard the technology and that cryptocurrencies have the potential to produce “massive disruptions”.

Last Week, Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Treasury Secretary, stated that the Financial Stability Oversight Council is “very focused” on the technology.

“We want to make sure that bad people cannot use these currencies to do bad things,” Mnuchin stated.

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IMF’s Christine Lagarde Says Cryptocurrencies To Cause ‘Massive Disruptions’

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), believes it’s time for central banks and regulators to get serious about cryptocurrencies.

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“I think that we are about to see massive disruptions,” Lagarde told CNBC, during the IMF Annual Meetings in Washington D.C.

Lagarde challenged JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s heavy criticisms of bitcoin as a “fraud” last month, and advised against the cryptocurrency sphere as speculative or fraudulent.

“I think we should just be aware of not categorizing anything that has to do with digital currencies in those speculation, ponzi-like schemes,” Lagarde said.

“It’s a lot more than that as well.”