Article

Crypto Regulation Continues To Progress Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

by the Crystal analytics team

June 14, 2020

The Crystal Blockchain analytics team continues its quarterly update to the International Bitcoin Flows Analytics Report that was first compiled back in September 2019. This update takes into account fund flows from 2013 through the first six months of 2020. The report also considers the progress that has been made with the FATF guidelines and “travel rule”, despite the current COVID-19 pandemic that has seen many processes slowed down or stalled.

Countries with the largest amount of bitcoin sent per year, as of July 2020

Despite lockdown measures and travel restrictions, the FATF held a virtual plenary meeting on June 24, 2020. The FATF continues its work, as new ML and TF threats and vulnerabilities have emerged during the crisis. The FATF 2020 report finds that, overall, both the public and private sectors have made progress in implementing the revised standards, in particular in the development of tech solutions to enable the implementation of the ‘travel rule’ for VASPs.

However, many members of the FATF Global Network have not yet fully implemented these revised standards, to make the necessary progress that was advised by the 2019 FATF guidelines. The FATF will continue its enhanced monitoring of virtual assets and VASPs by undertaking a second 12-month review in June 2021 and considering whether further updates to the standards are necessary.

Key findings from the International Bitcoin Flows Report 2013-1H 2020:

  • By the end of 1H 2020, the countries with the largest number of registered exchanges were the UK (50 exchanges), Hong Kong (27 exchanges), Singapore (26 exchanges), and the US (26 exchanges).
  • Nearly 17% of all exchanges surveyed do not have countries of registration, or this information is not publicly available.
  • In 2013, 91% of all bitcoin transferred between exchanges was sent by exchanges from the G20. By 1H 2020 the volume of these transactions decreased to 45%.
  • In 1H 2019, the total volume of bitcoin directly transferred between exchanges was $24.5 billion. That’s 48% of the almost $51.6 billion transferred in all of 2019.
  • Thus, far in 1H 2020, the total volume of bitcoin directly transferred between exchanges was almost $33 billion, an increase of 35% from the same period a year ago.

As FATF and 5AMLD regulatory procedures continue to progress, we expect that the number of exchanges operating with unknown countries of origin will continue to reduce. And as compliance costs increase, we also predict the number of exchanges in general to reduce.

To see this data on an interactive map and to download the full report, please visit our Bitcoin Flows Analytics Map webpage on the Crystal Blockchain website.

(Please Note: This data is current for July 2020 and updated quarterly.)

For all inquiries please email: [email protected]

 

To see this data on an interactive map and to download the full report, please visit our Bitcoin Flows Analytics Map webpage on the Crystal Blockchain website.

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