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OSCE Facilitates Workshop to Strengthen Georgia’s Regulations of Virtual Asset Service Providers

On 17 to 21 July, OSCE organized a 5-day workshop aimed at bolstering the National Bank of Georgia’s regulatory framework for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs). The workshop, held in Tbilisi and hosted by the National Bank of Georgia and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Georgia, focused on enhancing the regulatory compliance of VASPs operating within the country.

The event provided a platform for in-depth discussions on registration rule requirements for VASPs in Georgia. During the event, OSCE experts together with National Bank of Georgia officials examined the current regulatory landscape and explored ways to enhance compliance measures to mitigate the risks of terrorist financing and money laundering associated with virtual assets.

Participants actively engaged in knowledge-sharing sessions, interactive discussions, and collaborative exercises with the intent of delving into best practices, regulatory frameworks, and effective strategies for promoting transparency and combating illicit activities within the virtual assets and cryptocurrencies industry.

National Bank representatives and experts discussed effective monitoring tools and ongoing preventive measures to ensure the integrity of the cryptocurrency market. The workshop emphasized the importance of collecting and analyzing relevant data, while respecting privacy rights and protecting fundamental freedoms. Participants also explored the alignment of anti-money laundering policies and compliance with international sanctions. They discussed red flags of money laundering and terrorist financing and examined specific restrictions related to certain virtual assets and technologies.

The discussion also focused on the development of comprehensive internal guidelines and assessment processes for cryptocurrency exchanges. Participants shared their insights on data submission frequency and reporting requirements to ensure effective regulatory oversight and transparency. The workshop provided participants with the opportunity to enhance their understanding of regulatory compliance in the cryptocurrency industry and strengthen their capacity to combat illicit activities.

“The OSCE understands the critical importance of effectively regulating Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) in today’s financial landscape. We stand ready to support the National Bank of Georgia in their efforts to implement comprehensive regulatory measures and ensure compliance,” said Kurban Babayev, OSCE Associate Anti-corruption Officer. “The robust regulation of VASPs is integral to safeguarding financial integrity, enhancing consumer protection, and countering financial crimes. Through collaboration and technical support, the OSCE aims to assist the National Bank of Georgia in establishing a resilient regulatory framework that adheres to international standards, fostering a secure and innovative virtual asset market,” Babayev added.

The workshop is part of an OSCE extra-budgetary project on innovative policy solutions to mitigate money-laundering risks of virtual assets. The project is designed to support the governments of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in building national authorities’ capacities to mitigate criminal risks related to virtual assets and cryptocurrencies. The project is funded by Germany, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Source : OSCE