Georgia aims to adopt European crypto standards for anti-money laundering

Georgia, one of the most cryptocurrency-friendly countries in the world, is set to introduce new crypto regulations to further its ambitions of becoming a global crypto hub.

Georgian lawmakers have prepared a new regulatory framework targeting digital businesses and cryptocurrency trading in the country, Georgian Economy Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Levan Davitashvili has announced.

Davitashvili said a draft law has been sent to parliament and the amendments are expected to be passed in the fall session, local news agency Business Media Georgia reported. reported In Monday.

According to the minister, the bill aims to coordinate local cryptocurrency laws with three major European Union directives, including the Payment Services Directive (PSD2), the Capital Requirements Directive ( CRD) as well as the Virtual Asset Service Providers Act (VASP).

The VASP Act aims to give legal status to entities involved in the trading of digital assets. The new framework will also prevent the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering or terrorist financing, the report notes.

According to Davitashvili, the adoption of the VASP rules is crucial for Georgia to ensure sustainable regulation of the cryptocurrency industry. The minister reportedly stressed the importance of synchronizing Georgian financial legislation with associated rules in the EU. The latest framework is just the first step, as Georgia aims to become a crypto hub in the future, in line with the government’s official development strategy for 2022-2025.

Georgia has become one of the most crypto-friendly countries in the world. In a study by Forex Suggest, Georgia was ranked the fourth most crypto-friendly jurisdiction after Hong Kong, the United States, and Switzerland in July 2022. Georgia is specifically associated with a high density of ATMs cryptographic, allowing users to buy and sell easily. crypto in exchange for money. According to data from CoinATMRadar, Georgia hosts 45 crypto ATMs at the time of writing.

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Georgia lawmakers have been working on cryptocurrency legislation this year, with central bank governor Koba Gvenetadze noting the lack of crypto regulation in the country in April. The first reports of Georgia’s upcoming new crypto rules have emerged as tens of thousands of Russians flee to Georgia due to Western sanctions against Russia and economic uncertainty. Crypto has apparently become an important tool for many Russians arriving in Georgia to manage their finances amid credit and debit card sanctions.