Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA)

by Hideo Nakamura
Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA)

Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) is an independent regulatory body with the primary purpose of regulating and supervising virtual asset service providers (VASPs). VARA was established in 2020 as part of a concerted effort to develop unified standards for the regulation of virtual assets across countries. The organization operates on an international level, providing guidance and support to member countries to ensure that they are compliant with relevant regulations.

In order to become a fully-recognized VARAs, members must adhere to certain criteria, including:
• Ensuring compliance with applicable laws;
• Adopting measures designed to prevent money laundering or terrorist financing;
• Implementing proper customer due diligence procedures;
• Maintaining adequate record-keeping systems; and
• Establishing effective risk management processes.

VARA also works closely with industry stakeholders such as banks, exchanges, custodians and other financial institutions in order to foster innovation while protecting consumers from fraudulent activities. Additionally, it provides advice on best practices related to blockchain technology and digital token governance. For example, it has issued recommendations regarding initial coin offerings (ICOs), security tokens offerings (STOs) and decentralized finance projects (DeFi).

Finally, VARA plays an active role in setting global standards for AML/CFT through its work with FATF’s various task forces. It also contributes actively towards G20 initiatives by providing technical advice and expertise on topics such as cryptoassets taxation or cryptocurrency regulations globally.

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