Events

Digital Assets Taskforce: Countering Financial Crime

Written By
Louise Bryant
July 21, 2022

Earlier this month, our Co-Founder & CEO, Aidan Larkin, was invited to join the inaugural meeting of the Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime’s new Digital Assets Taskforce hosted by the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Digital Asset Taskforce is a newly established committee that aims to coordinate efforts between the global industry leaders leading the fight against financial crime in the digital assets industry. It’s founding members include our partner and leading blockchain investigation firm Chainalysis, notable Swedish cryptocurrency broker Safello, crypto-related risk management company Elliptic and the foremost industry body for digital finance technologies, Global Digital Finance.

The task force aims to identify the key weaknesses and emerging threats in the current anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist frameworks to help develop more effective controls against the movement of illicit financial flows. They are committed to fostering a fresh collaborative atmosphere amongst the international financial crime prevention community by encouraging organisations to share their collective knowledge despite previous barriers between public and private entities.

Over 30 international finance experts from diverse backgrounds across the public, private and civil sectors met for the first time in Geneva on July 12th to formally launch the task force and discuss their priorities for the immediate future. They took the time to ascertain the deficiencies in the present approach to combatting financial crime across multinational borders before deciding to focus on raising awareness of how digital assets like cryptocurrency or NFTS are being used to evade sanctions worldwide. Representatives from law enforcement, regulatory bodies, policymakers, and international organisations decided on several concrete actions that could drive progress in tackling illicit activity based on multi-stakeholder and cross-border engagement.

Aidan was honoured to have been asked to participate in the inaugural meeting:

“It was a privilege to be invited to join the new Digital Assets Taskforce and share the work we're doing at Asset Reality to make crypto safer for users and improve asset recovery prospects for victims of fraud involving crypto. This event also marked my first opportunity to meet some of my fellows from the Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies (CFCS) at RUSI, both virtually and in person. It was wonderful to be surrounded by such an incredible bunch of experienced and passionate practitioners in this stunning venue. I’m so proud to be working with them all to get better results for victims and creditors alike.”

Chief Compliance Officer of Safello and co-chair of the new task force, Michal Gromek, was thrilled to host the event:

“It was my pleasure to have initiated and co-chaired the Digital Asset Task Force of the Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime together with Caroline Malcolm and the invaluable support of Che Sidanius. It is always easy to point fingers that this or that should be fixed by somebody else. This task force desires to break the silos between different participants in the ecosystem and work on preventing financial crime by providing best practices on how to deal with emerging digital assets and reviewing challenges before they become emergencies on the international level.”

The Committee's other co-chair and Head of International Policy at our partner Chainalysis, Caroline Malcolm, added her thoughts:

“I had the pleasure to lead the first meeting of the Digital Asset Task Force (DATF) with my co-chair, Michal Gromek. The DATF was conceived because of a sense that while the digital asset ecosystem has evolved over the last decade and many of its participants are active contributors when it comes to tackling illicit activity involving digital assets, there remain some key gaps to be filled, from policy and compliance, through to investigation and enforcement. Innovative approaches that are founded on public-private collaboration are key to moving the needle in this fast-evolving space. Thank you sincerely to all those who contributed and affirmed their support as we move ahead, as well as those who have expressed an interest in the group’s work. Together, we are delighted to be drawing on the strong foundations established by the GCFFC to drive this work forward and excited to share more with you in the near future.”

Che Sidanus, the Co-founder of the Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime reflected on the speed at which the group came together:

“What started as simply an idea to organise and assemble a group of experts spanning across the digital asset community, European Parliament, Financial Action Task Force (FATF), U.S. Department of the Treasury, Europol, INTERPOL, United Nations, OSCE, Royal United Services Institute and so many others, materialised into an in-person meeting in just a few months which is quite extraordinary and something everyone involved should be incredibly proud of. The result was one of the most content-rich discussions I’ve participated in with an action-oriented agenda. Watch this space in the fall as there are some pretty exciting outcomes being considered. This is just the beginning…”

John Cusack, Coalition Chair was keen to stress exactly how important this new committee is:

“It’s time those in the digital assets community that have demonstrated they are responsible and committed to the effective fight against financial crime to establish a forum to develop and promote actions to make digital assets a more hostile place for criminals including the corrupt, and in particular right now those seeking to circumvent sanctions. I am delighted that the Coalition can help bring together many leaders in the digital asset community committed to these objectives and to help charter a path together with the Task Force’s members towards increased effectiveness."

If you are interested in contributing or participating in the work of this task force please inform the Coalition secretariat by email at secretariat@gcffc.org

If you would like to know more about our work in crypto-related frauds and asset recovery, contact connect@assetreality.com

For press enquiries, contact comms@assetreality.com