CipherTrace gives crypto monitoring tool to MFSA

(source: Unsplash/Stanislaw Zarchta)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 August, 2019 at 11:02 am by Christian Keszthelyi

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) announced to have partnered up with CipherTrace Compliance Monitoring to monitor and manage business risks related to Malta-licensed virtual asset businesses and cryptocurrencies, according to a press statement.

The CipherTrace Compliance Monitoring solution continuously rates the risks of cryptocurrency businesses to protect consumers, investors and business partners, the company says. CipherTrace is a supervisory technology (suptech) tool which, through the cryptocurrency anti-money laundering, cryptocurrency forensics, and blockchain threat intelligence solutions it offers, will enable MFSA to manage the risk associated with virtual asset businesses.

“Being strongly aware of the money laundering and financing of terrorism risks associated with entities operating in this sphere, the decision has been taken to engage the services of CipherTrace in order to reduce fraud and detect transactions with illegal sources of funds. CipherTrace Compliance Monitoring will provide the MFSA with powerful oversight tools to automate regulatory processes and audit the risk management of virtual asset businesses that are licensed in Malta,” said MFSA Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Cuschieri.

CipherTrace Compliance Monitoring uses machine learning to de-anonymise transactions, which helps regulators evaluate and monitor the trustworthiness of virtual asset businesses. This solution tracks the risk exposure of virtual asset businesses including cryptocurrency exchanges, collective investment schemes and initial coin offerings (ICOs) to gauge and measure potential exposure. “This suptech will allow the MFSA to monitor the activities of crypto businesses both pre- as well as post-authorisation stage,” said Dave Jevans, CEO CipherTrace.

“Cryptocurrency businesses often have difficulty establishing trust and maintaining banking relationships because of their perceived risk. Banks and other financial institutions use the CipherTrace Compliance Monitoring solution to help decide which virtual asset businesses to trust as corporate customers. These insights help banks avoid de-risking by turning away valuable customers in this lucrative and fast-growing sector,” added Mr Jevans.

CipherTrace’s machine learning algorithms calculate risk levels for exchanges, addresses, wallets and other entities based on known associations, criminal addresses, and money laundering services. CipherTrace also profiles hundreds of global exchanges, dark markets, mixers, gambling services, high-yield investment products, and ATMs to determine risk levels of transactions based on activity related to suspicious addresses and wallets.

Regulator MFSA covers banks, insurance companies, investment services, trusts and pensions in Malta. As of last year, the MFSA became the first European regulator to develop a framework to regulate virtual financial assets. The MFSA’s mission, as enshrined in its Vision 2021, is to enhance its position as an independent, proactive and trustworthy supervisory authority with the main purpose of safeguarding the integrity of markets and maintaining stability within the financial sector, for the benefit and protection of consumers. Over 2,300 entities are licensed by the MFSA to operate in the financial services sector, which makes up 11% of the Maltese GDP.

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