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Anti-money laundering law to apply to crypto trade

Updated on: 09 March,2023 09:43 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Agencies |

Indian crypto exchanges will have to report suspicious activity, says finance ministry

Anti-money laundering law to apply to crypto trade

The govt made the announcement on March 7. Representation pic

Trade in cryptocurrencies will fall within the ambit of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the Union Ministry of Finance has announced. It said the PMLA has been applied to crypto trading, safekeeping and related financial services. After this, Indian crypto exchanges will have to report suspicious activity to the Financial Intelligence Unit India.

The exchange between virtual digital assets and fiat currencies, the exchange between one or more forms of virtual digital assets and the transfer of digital assets will be covered under money laundering laws, the notification dated March 7 stated. The government is yet to finalise legislation and regulations surrounding cryptocurrencies even as the Reserve Bank of India has sought a ban saying they are akin to a Ponzi scheme.

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Extending PMLA to cryptocurrencies will give authorities greater authority in monitoring the transfer of these assets beyond the country’s borders. Crypto assets are by definition borderless and require international collaboration to prevent regulatory arbitrage. Therefore, any legislation for regulation or for banning can be effective only with significant international collaboration on the evaluation of the risks and benefits and evolution of common taxonomy and standards.

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