Virtual Assets (VAs) or crypto assets refer to : “any digital representation of value that can be digitally traded, transferred or used for payment. It does not include digital representation of fiat currencies” (FATF).
VAs enable payments to be made in an easier, faster and cheaper fashion, and provide alternative means of payment.
Despite the release of several reports and guidance by the FATF to provide a framework for the use of VAs, these assets are mostly unregulated, extremely volatile and vulnerable to cyberattacks and scams.
The majority of countries are yet to implement effective regulations to ensure financial institutions and virtual asset service providers comply with mandatory requirements such as customer due diligence, record keeping, risk management, disclosures, custody and suspicious transaction reporting.