Global Crackdown: Crypto and Fintech Firms Hit with $5.8B in Fines

In a significant development reflecting heightened regulatory study, Crypto and Fintech firms globally have been strike with fines amounting to $5.8 billion.

This substantial financial penalty underscores the increasing attention from regulators towards these emerging sectors. The substantial fines serve as a stark reminder for companies operating in the crypto and fintech realms to prioritize compliance and navigate the evolving regulatory landscape to avoid such consequences.

Governments around the world are getting stricter with new financial businesses. A recent report from Financial Times shows that companies dealing with digital money and crypto got much bigger fines than regular banks for not following the rules. These fines added up to a massive $5.8 billion. They were given because these companies didn’t do a good job of checking their customers, controlling illegal money activities, following sanctions, and managing other financial risks.

This is way more than the $835 million in fines that regular banks had to pay in 2023, which is the lowest in ten years. One big part of this amount, $4.3 billion, was a penalty against a cryptocurrency exchange called Binance. US prosecutors did this to send a strong message to the whole industry.

This situation shows that authorities are really watching closely, especially the crypto platforms. It also shows how important it is for these businesses to follow the rules seriously.

Bad practice in newer corners of finance

Dennis Kelleher, the CEO of Better Markets in Washington, which supports stricter regulations, pointed out that the high fines in the financial sector are more a result of wrongdoing in newer financial areas than an improvement in traditional banks. He emphasized that the widespread fraud and criminal activity in the crypto world pushed regulators and prosecutors to focus on stopping bad behavior and preventing it from getting worse.

The data, provided by compliance software provider Fenergo, reveals a 30% increase in fines for money laundering and financial crimes, totaling $6.6 billion. However, this is still lower than the peak in 2015 at $11.3 billion, with significant fines in recent years against companies like Binance, BNP Paribas, and Goldman Sachs influencing the annual figures.

Number of fines

Last year, there was a significant rise in fines imposed on crypto and payment providers. Crypto companies faced 11 fines, a notable increase from an average of less than two annually over the past five years. Similarly, payment firms experienced 27 fines, up from an average of about five per year between 2018 and 2022. Notably, nearly all the payment groups fined were less than 20 years old.

David Lewis, a former head of the Financial Action Task Force, expressed concern about the lack of consistent global regulations for crypto firms, anticipating more fines in this sector due to insufficient oversight.

Related: 10 Rules for Financial Success: Gateway to Wealth and Prosperity

Andrew Barber, a partner at Pinsent Masons law firm, suggested that fines against crypto and payment groups could further increase as governments introduce new regulatory frameworks. Regulators in various jurisdictions have been cautioning payment firms to enhance their practices, with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority expressing concerns about the “unacceptable” risks in the sector.

Fines likely to fall in the coming year

Charles Kerrigan, a crypto specialist and partner at law firm CMS, anticipates a decline in fines for crypto-related offenses in the coming years due to increased regulation in the industry. He highlighted that law enforcement now openly wishes for people to use crypto for criminal activities, but he emphasized the impracticality of such actions.

Kerrigan also mentioned that the relatively small size of the crypto market, with a global market cap of $1.8 trillion, makes it unlikely to be a major source of financial crime or fines compared to the traditional financial system with assets in the hundreds of trillions.

While acknowledging that there will still be fines to make a point about crypto, he emphasized the controlled nature of the crypto space. On the other hand, Rory Doyle, head of financial crime policy at Fenergo, suggested the possibility of increased fines against traditional financial institutions, especially concerning dealings with Russian entities, as suspicious patterns may emerge.

Conclusion

In summary, the global crackdown on crypto and fintech has resulted in substantial fines totaling $5.8 billion. This signifies a growing regulatory focus on these sectors, emphasizing the need for increased compliance and accountability within the industry. As governments tighten their grip, financial entities, especially those dealing with digital assets, must adapt to evolving regulations to avoid penalties and ensure the integrity of the financial system.

- Advertisement -

Related Stories