Reporting entities to the Sunacrip will be required to maintain a registry of all of their account holders that will be available for review by the authorities at any time. This is a dramatic departure from the current approach, which does not require that any information be collected from individuals who use crypto services, except for exchanges and payment processors.
Sunacrip, the Venezuelan crypto regulator, recently released a new statement announcing several new regulatory measures. Among these, the most notable is the strengthening of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) policies for virtual asset service providers. Virtual assets are defined as “any type of digital asset that serves as a representation of value, and can be easily transferred, stored or traded.” Virtual asset service providers are defined as “any natural or legal person who provides services, including maintenance and custodian services, relating to virtual assets.”
Sunacrip, the Venezuelan cryptocurrency regulatory authority, recently released a new set of AML/KYC requirements for VASPs (virtual asset providers), which includes new and updated rules regarding the information these providers must share with the Venezuelan government, which has alarmed the cryptocurrency community about what the government may do with this data.
Venezuelan cryptocurrency regulator Sunacrip tightens KYC/AML requirements forVASPs
Last week, the Venezuelan Cryptographic Assets and Related Activities Authority (Sunacrip) quietly issued a new set of rules to tighten the KYC/AML requirements the institution imposes on virtual asset providers offering these services in Venezuela.
A new Regulation has been published in the Official Journal under the title :
Rules for the management and verification of risks related to money laundering, terrorist financing and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction applicable to virtual asset service providers and persons and entities providing products and services through virtual asset activities via the crypto asset system.
The regulation contains a set of new rules aimed at obtaining detailed information on individuals and institutions using VASPs in the country.
As a general rule, VASPs are defined broadly to include custodial services and purse providers, meaning that any purse provider must be compliant. These VASPs must designate a compliance officer who will develop a plan to minimize money laundering risk and report directly to Sunacrip.
In addition, the rule stipulates that any transaction with a value of more than €1,000 must be transmitted immediately, along with the identity of the sender and recipient of the funds, in line with the so-called travel rule developed and formally adopted by the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) in 2019 as part of its global recommendations on cross-border and domestic transfers of funds.
The rule also contains a section that requires these VASPs to report regularly on the number of customers under Venezuelan jurisdiction and a complete record of the transactions of each, including the balances in each account. However, there are no penalties or sanctions for violation of this policy.
Limited Limitation Period
While the new rule has caused some concern among Venezuela’s large crypto-currency community, which uses the instruments as a safe haven against inflation, most are skeptical of the government’s actual ability to enforce the rule through its channels.
Although exchanges like Binance have a strong national presence, they do not currently have offices in the country. These rules would only apply to domestic exchanges, which are already closely monitored by the government, even when trading volumes are relatively low. Moreover, portfolio providers cannot obtain the KYC information of their users. To comply with these rules, they must therefore change the way they register users and ask recipients for personal data when they transfer money.
That’s according to Raul Velasquez, a Venezuelan lawyer with ties to the cryptocurrency community, who raised the issue in a podcast early last week. According to him, it is absurd to require providers of wallets to provide information that they do not request from their users.
However, Velasquez also believes that this new set of rules is an invitation to traditional businesses, such as… B. Banks that already comply with these rules can enter the world of cryptocurrencies by becoming a VASP under this Act. These institutions already have the logistics in place to comply with these rules and they can afford the cost of compliance, he said.
What do you think of these new rules and their applicability? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
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