In its recent report, “Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers,” the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommended the implementation of a global “travel rule” that would require virtual asset service providers (VASPs) like cryptocurrency exchanges to share customer information with one another when processing transactions.
Highlighting the “threat of criminal and terrorist misuse of virtual assets” as a “serious and urgent” issue, the FATF said it will give its 37 member countries one year to adopt these new guidelines, with a review planned for June 2020. The G20 has also announced its support for this rule.
To elucidate both the basis of this regulatory guidance as well as the extent virtual asset service providers will be subject to it, the Crystal™ blockchain analytics team has compiled a report of the historical international flow of bitcoin between cryptocurrency exchanges.
The countries/regions with the largest number of registered exchanges are the UK, USA, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Argentina, India, Mexico, Russia, and Indonesia have the fewest exchanges registered.
In 2013, 96 percent of all bitcoin transferred between exchanges were sent by exchanges from the “G20 & Other” group. In 2018, it decreased to 70 percent.
In 2018, the total volume of bitcoin directly transferred between exchanges was almost $92.6 billion. A total of $65.1 billion was transferred by exchanges from G20 countries, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
The UK has the largest number of registered exchanges (outside of the aggregated European Union), followed by the USA. The Asia-Pacific countries with the largest number of exchanges are Hong Kong and Singapore.
If you or your company is a VASP or VASP-adjacent in the G20, we hope this report gives your team a fuller understanding of current digital asset market trends, the way in which new regulatory procedures are influencing those trends, and how those trends may affect your company. To learn about Crystal’s Bitcoin Blockchain analytics tools, visit www.crystalblockchain.com.