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People use a bitcoin ATM in Hong Kong. VOA

A global financial body says governments worldwide must establish rules for virtual currencies like bitcoin to stop criminals from using them to launder money or finance terrorism.

The Financial Action Task Force said Friday that from next year it will start assessing whether countries are doing enough to fight criminal use of virtual currencies.


Countries that don’t could risk being effectively put on a “gray list” by the FATF, which can scare away investors.


The value of cryptocurrency rises and falls daily. Pixabay

Marshall Billingslea, an assistant U.S. Treasury secretary who holds the FATF’s rotating leadership, said, “We’ve made clear today that every jurisdiction must establish” virtual currency rules. “It’s no longer optional.”

Also Read: McAfee: Cryptocurrency Mining Malware Grew 86% in Q2 of 2018

The FATF described how the Islamic State group and al-Qaida have used virtual currencies.

Financial regulators worldwide have struggled to deal with the rise of electronic alternatives to traditional money. (VOA)


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