OSCE workshop enhances Armenia’s legal landscape of crypto finance

To bolster Armenia’s regulatory framework for Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs),  the OSCE organized a workshop from 25 to 27 June in Yerevan. Having united participants from the Financial Monitoring Center and the General Prosecutor’s Office at the Central Bank of Armenia, the workshop aimed to strengthen the regulatory compliance of VASPs operating within the country.

It focused on operational dynamics of VASPs, their business models, and the complex legal dimensions governing crypto-assets. A team of OSCE experts provided an in-depth analysis of the current regulatory environment of virtual assets, for example, the applicability of existing regulatory measures around cryptocurrency transactions and the complexities of verifying ownership transfers on blockchain platforms.

In light of the industry’s rapid evolution, experts also discussed strategies for combating illicit financial activities within the crypto sphere. Participants analyzed associated risks around cryptocurrencies compared to traditional fiat currencies and proposed robust mitigation strategies. To unearth patterns indicative of financial crimes within crypto transactions, they discussed leveraging data analytics and effective methodologies for visualizing transaction networks.

An expert from the National Bank of Georgia, who participated in the workshop, shared their  experience of how Georgia developed a regulatory framework for VASPs with OSCE support. 

“Regulation of virtual assets and their service providers plays a crucial role in safeguarding financial systems against illicit activities. By establishing robust regulatory frameworks, we enhance transparency, mitigate the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing and foster a safer environment for innovation in the digital economy,” said Vera Strobachova-Budway, OSCE Acting Senior Economic Officer.

“This workshop underscores the importance of collaborative efforts in shaping effective regulatory practices that balance innovation with accountability, ensuring sustainable growth and integrity within the virtual asset sector,” she added.

The OSCE actively fosters international collaboration and knowledge-sharing in the fight against financial crime and strengthens regulatory frameworks to ensure the integrity and security of global financial systems.

This workshop was part of an OSCE extra-budgetary project on “Innovative policy solutions to mitigate money-laundering risks of virtual assets”, funded by Germany, Italy, Poland, Romania, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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