Cryptoassets are increasingly being used for criminal purposes – New regulation is a step in the right direction

It is good that cryptocurrency operators will soon be governed by uniform international regulation. Image: Valery Evlakhov / Shutterstock
  • Finance Finland considers the introduction of a harmonised regulatory framework for cryptoassets to be well-justified.
  • The new Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) is expected to help weed out fraud that utilises cryptoassets.
  • Lack of supervisory resources is a major challenge in the prevention of crypto-related crime.

Finance Finland supports the uniform regulation of the EU cryptoassets market. Head of Financial Crime and Cybersecurity Mika Linna is pleased that cryptocurrency operators will soon be covered by comprehensive cross-border regulation.

“Without adequate regulation and supervision, the cryptoassets market will remain a wild west with no guarantee that operators are able or willing to fulfil their lawful obligations. It’s important that similar financial services are regulated consistently in the same way and according to their nature.”

Finance Finland considers it important that the national transposition of the MiCA framework is fully aligned with the regulations applicable to the traditional financial sector.

Dishonest operators are at the root of the problem in the cryptoassets sector, and it is not enough to simply regulate the services – the operators themselves must also be regulated, supervised and subjected to background checks.

Sufficient supervisory resources must be guaranteed

According to both official reports on the prevention of financial crime and terrorist financing and the financial sector’s own experience, cryptoassets are a high-risk sector. Finance Finland considers it essential that the authorities are guaranteed sufficient resources to carry out the supervisory obligations the regulation will impose upon them.

“Authorities need resources that are adequate in both quantity and quality. This would also help banks, who often become the scapegoats when a customer falls in the trap of a crypto scammer either through lack of judgement or through manipulation.”

Linna hopes the new regulation will help stifle the fraud-related use of cryptoassets. According to data from Finance Finland’s member banks, Finns lost a total of €8.2 million to investment fraud over the first half of 2023. A large part of investment fraud utilises cryptoassets in one way or another.

“There has been a sharp increase in the volume of crime that makes use of cryptoassets. It’s important to subject the issuance, exchange and use of these assets to comprehensive international regulation.”

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Infrastructure and Security

Mika Linna

Head of Financial Crime and Cybersecurity