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New Crypto Rules in China Aim to Control Money Laundering

Key Takeaways
  • China plans to update anti-money laundering rules by 2025, signaling a balanced stance on digital assets
  • Proposed changes aim to combat money laundering, with the goal of official approval by 2025, the first major update since 2007
  • China faces challenges in defining digital assets. Collaboration is crucial to combat money laundering and build trust in the crypto
31-Jan-2024 By: Simran Mishra
New Crypto Rules in

China Update Rules for Cryptocurrency, Embraces Responsible Innovation

China is changing its approach to cryptocurrency by planning a significant update to its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules by 2025. This is a shift from the complete ban on crypto in 2021, showing that the Chinese government now acknowledges the changing world of digital assets and the importance of strong regulations.

China's recent move indicates an acknowledgment of the changing digital asset landscape. It shows China's commitment to updating its rules to better supervise cryptocurrency activities. The expected changes suggest a shift from the previous complete ban. Instead, it signifies a more balanced approach, aiming to manage risks while encouraging innovation in the cryptocurrency sector.


In 2021, a complete ban on cryptocurrency was implemented to address concerns related to money laundering and the decentralized nature of crypto transactions. However, despite the ban, users in mainland areas have discovered ways to access the crypto market, sparking worries about potential money laundering activities.

The suggested changes to the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations come after Prime Minister Li Qiang led a meeting of the State Council on January 22. The initial draft of the AML regulations was introduced in 2021 and is now part of the State Council's legislative plan for 2023. The goal is to have it officially approved as a law by 2025. This marks the first major update to China's AML regulations since 2007.

Challenges and Discussions

During discussions on the updated Anti-Money Laundering (AML) draft, well-known scholars and financial experts pointed out that the AML law covers a wide range of areas, making it difficult to ensure complete coverage. They stressed the pressing need to address legal issues concerning crypto money laundering. This is crucial because the use of cryptocurrency and digital assets for money laundering has become a common practice in China.

Professor Wang Xin from Peking University Law School highlighted a problem in current Chinese laws – the absence of a clear definition for digital assets. Although the updated draft addresses the prevention of digital asset money laundering, it lacks practical guidance on what to do next in cases of money laundering crimes, like seizing assets or freezing them. This gap creates a "disconnect," indicating the need for improvements to enhance the effectiveness of combating money laundering related to digital assets.

Balancing Innovation and Regulation

China is updating its rules on preventing money laundering (AML) to cover transactions involving cryptocurrencies. This brings up a key challenge – finding the right mix between encouraging innovation and having solid regulations. Even though there was a ban on cryptocurrencies in 2021, the decentralized nature of these digital assets has kept them accessible. The new regulations aim to find a middle ground by embracing technological progress while also addressing the risks of money laundering.

A Collaborative Approach

To tackle the issues linked to money laundering in the crypto world, it's crucial for the government, academia, industry experts, and the crypto community to join forces. Together, they should create clear and effective rules to regulate these activities. We need well-defined operational guidelines to fill the existing gaps in Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations, ensuring a smooth and coordinated effort to fight against unlawful actions in the digital asset space.

Building Trust in the Crypto Ecosystem

The primary goal of the updated Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations is to build trust in the crypto ecosystem by addressing money laundering concerns. The focus is on creating a regulatory environment that encourages innovation while remaining alert about illegal activities. The plan is to define digital assets clearly within the legal framework, establishing the foundation for effective implementation and regulation.

China is working towards a major regulatory makeover to establish itself as a leader in responsible crypto governance. The goal is not just to stop money laundering but also to create an environment that promotes responsible innovation in the crypto industry.


As China prepares to introduce revised AML regulations for cryptocurrency by 2025, the nation is taking a step towards embracing the opportunities presented by digital assets while addressing the challenges associated with money laundering. The collaborative efforts of government, academia, industry experts, and the crypto community will play a pivotal role in shaping the regulatory landscape. Striking a delicate balance between innovation and regulation is crucial for building trust in the crypto ecosystem, ultimately paving the way for a more secure and transparent future in the world of digital finance.

These kinds of money laundering examples of the crypto world create a concern and force to increase more security. Cryptocurrency, with its decentralized and often confidential transactions, has become a focal point for money laundering. Some malicious individuals use privacy-focused digital currencies to hide the source and endpoint of funds, while others exploit decentralized exchanges (DEXs) that lack traditional supervision. These platforms enable peer-to-peer transactions, making it easier for money launderers to operate. Moreover, "mixing services" further complicate tracking by merging transactions from multiple users. China's updated Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations aim to tackle these challenges, providing tools to trace and prevent illicit financial activities in the crypto space.

Also read - BRICS Nations Discussion with Cryptocurrency Exploration

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