• Bitcoin price has stopped its current slide, and looks like it could be attempting to reclaim USD 9,000 today
  • Binance has joined an industry blockchain network to cross-share KYC information
  • The cities of Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong have amended their crypto regulations to keep in line with FATF guidelines


After several slippery slopes yesterday, Bitcoin markets have finally found some slight stability, tumbling as low as USD 8,530 (CoinDesk) but trading closer to USD 8,900 right now as the market shows signs of preparing to reclaim the lost support of USD 9,000, now turned resistance.

Coronavirus seems to be getting some of the burden of fault, but in any case, the market never needs a reason to dip or surge.

One good piece of development from that side of the world, however, is that Binance, the Chinese-backed crypto exchange, has partnered up with public blockchain protocol Shyft Network, as it prepares for an era of compliance with guidelines set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The Shyft Network is a decentralized crypto industry solution that hopes to let all participants comply globally with standards such as the FATF’s so-called “travel rule”.

Binance chief compliance officer Samuel Lin said in a written statement that there was actually no such infrastructure that helped firms to comply with FATF’s new rules, not until Shyft Network was created. The FATF’s updated guidance for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), which is due to come into force in June 2020, was controversial for it requiring VASPs to monitor transactions and collect and share Know Your Customer (KYC) data.

Shyft’s advisor Rick McDonell, who was a former FATF executive secretary, said that the new collaboration hoped to level up the industry when it comes to interfacing with regulators. He said:

“Other exchanges would be well advised to participate in federations that practically address global compliance requirements, particularly the FATF’s Travel Rule.”

Shyft plans to help crypto firms apply a solution that complies with FATF requirements by passporting identities, bridging databases and attesting data. The technology is currently open-source and is built to fully comply not only with FATF but the European Union’s GDPR data privacy law. Through decentralized networks, it hopes to share data securely across multiple jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi are the latest jurisdictions to have joined the compliance fray.

In Hong Kong, financial secretary Paul Chan stated that the government there will strengthen its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) policies in relation to crypto. In his budget speech, Chan said these will also address FATF recommendations, but the amendments will also affect dealers of precious metals like gold and silver.

The FATF had already evaluated Hong Kong in September last year, summarizing that Hong Kong has a “largely compliant” AML/CTF guideline, making it the first Asia Pacific jurisdiction to pass the FATF’s appraisal.

The new changes will be reflected in the government’s 2020–21 budget, to come into effect after public consultation.

In Abu Dhabi, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority made similar amendments to its crypto regulations. It is one of three regulators overseeing the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and it has most notably changed the term “crypto asset” to “virtual asset” — in line with definitions of FATF.

The ADGM is set to also widen the “Operating a Crypto Asset Business” definition to also include other activities relating to crypto enterprise that would also be regulated, such as custodial services, trading facilities or even investments. The list of jurisdictions preparing for FATF directives now include Abu Dhabi, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Switzerland.


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