Adopting A ‘Cryptocurrency Strategy’ Will Only Succeed If It Includes A Compliance Strategy
When disruptive technology arrives on a scene, it usually plays at the periphery for a while, attracting those with foresight and courage. Most prefer to take a back seat and watch until they feel ready to join the party, if at all. But what happens when that technology rapidly moves to center stage – and your company isn’t ready?
FinTechs, banks, eCommerce providers and other companies all over the world now find themselves at a critical crossroads: Their executives want them to adopt a “cryptocurrency strategy” and launch it yesterday. But only six or 12 months ago, these companies were positioned to comfortably wait; their executives had ignored, rejected or just not understood cryptocurrency.
How does a company adopt a sound, smart cryptocurrency strategy if they don’t have the right leaders and subject matter experts in place? How do they evaluate and select systems and partners that are reliable and compliant? How do they avoid putting their investments, data and reputation at undue risk? Is cryptocurrency inherently just too risky?
As the legal and compliance leader of the world’s leading blockchain payments company, I submit that for a company to jump into the world of cryptocurrency right now, it does not require a dangerous leap of faith. Companies simply need to adopt a “compliance-first strategy.” This means that their cryptocurrency strategy will not be about a quick, superficial win, nor will it be limited by a fear of the unknown. Rather, companies will leverage this innovative and exciting technology in a meaningful and safe manner.
If they have not done so already, companies must put legal/ compliance leaders at the helm right along with other executives, and must prioritize a culture of compliance. Companies must choose providers that are focused on financial regulatory compliance (such as anti-money laundering, anti-terrorism financing, sanctions, know your customer, transaction monitoring, etc.), data security and privacy, customer support, valuable feature sets and longevity. These providers must be steered by executives who understand the nuances of the complex regulatory landscape and care deeply about internal controls, risk mitigation and regulatory relations. Such providers will not be subject to the whims of cryptocurrency price spikes, shifting political pressures or trendy technology features.