Reporting from Tokyo yesterday, Reuters affirmed that a Japanese official involved in the G20 talks has stated that Japan will emphasize anti-money laundering (AML) regulations as they pertain to cryptocurrency during next week's G20 meeting:
"Discussions will focus on anti-money laundering steps and consumer protection, rather than how cryptocurrency trading could affect the banking system. The general feeling among the G20 members is that applying too stringent regulations won't be good."
According to the G20 agenda, a meeting of finance and central bank deputies will be held on March 17 and 18. The chiefs – finance ministers and central bank governors – are meeting March 19 and 20.
ETHNews reached out to George Selgin, senior fellow and director at the CATO Institute's Center For Monetary And Financial Alternatives, who said, "It's no surprise that the growing prominence of cryptocurrencies, and of bitcoin especially, is making it harder for regulators to resist getting their claws out for them."
He went on to admit:
"I'd be surprised if the G20 summit didn't at very least result in some new rules, with the avowed purpose of combatting the use of cryptocurrencies in money laundering; but these rules are also likely to raise the costs of using cryptocurrencies for other purposes, and they will almost certainly serve as a precedent for further rules and restrictions to come."
The unnamed Japanese official likely understands the benefits of nations working together on cryptocurrency AML, as a single nation acting alone is unlikely to be able to create an effectual deterrent against decentralized technology that transcends national borders.
Japan joins a Franco-German effort to raise cryptocurrency discussion at the G20 conference. Other notable endorsers included US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who recently indicated he is planning on bringing up crypto-related issues, as well as the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force, which will present cryptocurrency findings to the summit.
Recently, Japanese regulators went after flaws in AML and consumer protection safeguards during onsite inspections of domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.