In March 2021, the FATF prepared updated recommendations on virtual assets for regulators around the world. The additions touched upon such areas as DEX, stablecoins, NFC, p2p transactions, anonymous wallets and Travel Rule requirements.

FATF clarifies the definitions of virtual assets and virtual asset service providers

If the new version of the manual is adopted, the definition of virtual service providers will be significantly expanded. They will include many companies that are not related to the storage of cryptocurrencies, and they will fall under the AML/CTF rules. There are many different opinions about the innovations, even to the point that some of the proposed recommendations go beyond reasonable, since they will exert excessive regulatory pressure on developing cryptocurrency markets, where there is currently no proven criminal activity. However the best crypto mixers are still very popular.

Under the definition of VASP, it is proposed to include cryptocurrency companies regardless of the technologies used, but only by the criterion of whether they are involved in the transfer and exchange of VA. This means that even DeFi protocols will be regulated as VASP if they provide their users with money transfer and exchange services. The new rules will have to be obeyed even by those projects that are going to launch innovations in the future — it will be necessary to comply with the norms for VASP even before the launch.

Standards for stablecoins

The updated document again emphasizes that stablecoins should be regulated as virtual assets. However, there is an innovation. As is the case with operators and owners of DeFi protocols, anyone who manages the reserves supporting the stablecoin, controls its price stabilization mechanisms or promotes its integration into exchanges or other VASP platforms will be designated as a VASP and will be subject to the relevant rules.