March 29, 2023

The aftermath of the global pandemic, the invasion of the Ukraine by Russia and all global uncertainties as a result have led to quite some financial turmoil and what some media have labelled a ‘crypto winter’.

One of the biggest crypto exchanges – more commonly known as VASPs – went down. Most of you will have at least read a little about the FTX saga which is nicely summarised in this article

Then it proved that Temasek the Singapore government investment vehicle had a large exposure to FTX and supposedly lost 275 Singapore dollar as a consequence of the debacle. At the same time Singapore is positioning itself as the  Fintech  hub of the world while the Singapore regulator is trying to explain how to combine that with a prudent approach to the risks of virtual assets. Read more here

Then SVB went down and had to be bailed out. Although their exposure to crypto itself was limited and the problems were probably more related to poor communications and lack of internal (liquidity) controls, the bank was perceived to be funding and having an exposure on crypto firms perhaps?

So… I can’t really make sense of it all and likely you – dear reader – can’t either. However… it’s crucial that you understand the basics of crypto, virtual assets, blockchain and distributed ledger technology. And the financial crime risks related to it all.

Even if your organisation thinks it’s not exposed to virtual assets, your clients might; they might be dealing in bitcoin, might do transactions in virtual currencies, might be paying their suppliers via VASPs. It’s important to understand the underlying risks and it’s imperative that staff – client facing and operational – are aware of the financial crime risks related to digital assets.

To that end we have recently released an e-learning to help raise that awareness and explain the basics behind virtual assets. Visit our website …. Or drop us an email for more information or a demo.