External Publications
Published Date: 19 August 2019

FATF Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach for Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers

FATF’s guidance for implementing the risk-based approach for virtual assets and virtual asset service providers

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published in June 2019 a “Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach for Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers” (FATF Guidance)1. In October 2021, the FATF updated its 2019 Guidance as part of its ongoing monitoring of the virtual assets (VAs) and virtual assets service provider (VASP) sector, and to provide further clarification of the FATF Standards in relation to areas such as stablecoins, peer-to-peer transactions and decentralised finance. The updated Guidance can be found at the FATF website: https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/recommendations/Updated-Guidance-VA-VASP.pdf


2         The FATF Guidance supports the implementation of a risk-based approach and provides specific guidance for VA activities or operations and VASPs, as well as the supervision and monitoring of VASPs for AML/CFT purposes. It is intended to help not only national authorities in understanding and developing regulatory and supervisory responses to covered VA activities and VASPs, but also private sector entities seeking to engage in these VA activities to better understand their AML/CFT obligations and how they can effectively comply with these requirements.

3        In particular, the FATF Guidance provides examples of risk indicators that should specifically be considered in a VA context, with an emphasis on factors that could obfuscate transactions, or inhibit a VASP’s ability to identify customers. To this end, VASPs, or entities intending to engage in VA activities are encouraged to take reference from this FATF Guidance where appropriate, when designing, implementing or reviewing the effectiveness of their AML/CFT framework.

The 2019 Guidance can be found at the FATF website: https://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/recommendations/RBA-VA-VASPs.pdf