• 18 June, 2024

Georgia’s National Bank Supervises VASPs: A New Move

The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) is reportedly set to supervise virtual asset service providers (VASPs) starting from September 1, 2023. Georgia, majorly a crypto-friendly jurisdiction, is bracing to begin monitoring crypto entities to curb any money laundering instances whilst complying with applicable sanctions.

Archil Mestvirishvili, the acting governor of the NBG, stated that the new regulatory regime would enable Georgia to fight money laundering, as reported on May 31 by the local news agency InterPressNews. In accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering measures, the forthcoming VASP examination would enhance Georgia’s compliance with the sanctions imposed against Russia and Belarus by the West.

As per Mestvirishvili, NBG is the primary authority to supervise compliance with the relevant sanctions. The supervision got active in 2022 when the United States and the European Union (EU) pressed sanctions against Russia. 

The NBG’s Vice-Governor stated,

We have created an additional department for monitoring sanctions. The enforcement of the sanctions is very important and the financial sector takes it very seriously.

Notably, the government of Georgia is reportedly preparing to give a green signal to cryptocurrency legislation in the upcoming autumn session, after having acted upon coordinating local laws with the EU directives. Offering legal status to the firms involved in digital asset trading, Georgia also looks forward to preventing money laundering and terrorist financing via crypto money, to promote Georgia as a global crypto destination.

In related crypto news from Georgia, the USDT stablecoin issuer Tether Operations Limited has announced an investment in the Georgia-based CityPay.io, a leading payment processing company operating in over 600 locations across Georgia.

As per a crypto ownership in Georgia research by the crypto payments gateway Triple-A, 115 thousand Georgians (or 2.89% of Georgia’s total population) currently own cryptocurrency. The research also stated that a total of 130 crypto ATMs exist in Georgia. Notably, a July 2022 study by Forex Suggest ranked Georgia fourth, as the most crypto-ready nations in the world.

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