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VASPs, or Virtual Asset Service Providers, are entities that offer services related to virtual assets, such as cryptocurrencies. These services can include exchanging virtual assets for fiat currency, holding virtual assets on behalf of customers, and facilitating transfers of virtual assets between customers. VASPs can be exchanges, wallets, or other businesses that provide virtual asset-related services to their customers. Due to the potential risks of money laundering and terrorist financing associated with virtual assets, VASPs are subject to regulation and oversight by government authorities in many jurisdictions.
The term "VASP" was proposed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organization that develops policies and standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. In its 2019 guidance on virtual assets, the FATF introduced the term VASP to refer to entities engaged in virtual asset activities, such as exchanges, wallet providers, and other similar businesses. The FATF's use of the term has since been adopted by various regulatory bodies and industry participants in the virtual asset space.