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Aware of growing public concern about money laundering and terrorist financing, the government of Canada introduced its final anti-money laundering (AML) regulations today, July 10, 2019. These rules will impact Canadian crypto businesses, including exchanges, digital platforms, custodial wallets, ICOs, utility and gaming tokens, escrow services and possibly bitcoin ATMs.

The title of the new regulations, “Regulations under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, 2019,” which will come into force on June 1, 2020, indicates that the government’s priority is crime fighting, as much as it is regulating cryptocurrencies. 

In British Columbia, the provincial government was concerned enough to introduce a full public inquiry into money laundering after a recent report estimated that $5.6 billion (CA$7.4 billion) was laundered through British Columbia in 2018.

Crypto Regulations Start to Converge

It may be that, partly through the influence of the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF), regulators in different countries are starting to propose similar regulations for crypto businesses. 

The FATF is an intergovernmental policy-making body established in 1989 by the ministers of its member countries to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other perceived threats to the international financial system.

Amber D. Scott, founder and CEO of Outlier Canada, a firm that works with crypto businesses to help them comply with government rules, told Bitcoin Magazine:

“The Canadian AML legislation seems to be relatively well-aligned with the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) guidance for countries. There will be many nuanced differences between countries, but in broad strokes, they will be aligned in terms of their anti-money laundering

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