Crypto Virtual Asset Service Providers are subject to AML/CFT requirements for the first time

4 May 2021

Following 5AMLD’s transposition into Irish law on 23 April, the Central Bank of Ireland circulated a press release on their recently published details of the registration process for Virtual Asset Service Providers (‘VASPs’) under 5AMLD. VASPs are required to register with the Central Bank for AML/CFT purposes only.

  • Virtual Asset Service Providers (‘VASPs’) in Ireland are now required to comply with Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) obligations.
  • – VASPs are required to register with the Central Bank for AML/CFT purposes.
  • – VASP AML/CFT registration information is available on the Central Bank website.

The European Union’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (‘5AMLD’) has been transposed into Irish law today (23 April 2021) by way of the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) (Amendment) Act 2021.

For the purposes of the legislation, VASPs are firms that provide any of the following services relating to virtual assets:

a) exchange between virtual assets and fiat currencies;

b) exchange between one or more forms of virtual asset;

c) transfer of virtual assets, that is to say, to conduct a transaction on behalf of another person that moves a virtual asset from one virtual asset address or account to another;

d) custodian wallet provider; and

e) participation in, and provision of, financial services related to an issuer’s offer or sale of a virtual asset or both.

VASPs are required to register with the Central Bank for AML/CFT purposes only. VASPs established in Ireland and carrying on business as a VASP immediately prior to the 2021 Act coming into force, have three months to apply to the Central Bank for registration. It will be a criminal offence to operate as a VASP in Ireland in the absence of registration.

Information on the registration process is now available on the Central Bank website here.