The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an company of the Treasury Department tasked with stopping and punishing cash laundering and different monetary crimes, has turned its consideration to crypto.
In the company’s first checklist of government-wide priorities printed Wednesday, FinCEN recognized eight priorities: corruption, cybercrime and related digital foreign money concerns, terrorist financing, fraud, transnational prison group exercise, drug trafficking, human trafficking and proliferation financing.
So far, the company’s checklist of priorities just isn’t related to any insurance policies. According to FinCEN’s assertion, the company “will difficulty laws at a later date that may specify how monetary establishments ought to incorporate these Priorities into their risk-based AML [anti-money laundering] applications.”
FinCEN has been wrestling with its method to cryptocurrencies since late 2020, when a hotly debated rule was floated by the Treasury Department that will require crypto exchanges to determine private wallets making massive transactions.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), one other company of the Treasury Department, has additionally made headlines – first in 2016 and once more earlier this 12 months – for issuing controversial “John Doe” summons to crypto exchanges for names related to massive transactions.
FinCEN’s inclusion of digital currencies and cybercrime in its checklist of priorities additionally comes within the wake of a number of high-profile ransomware assaults, just like the Colonial Pipeline hack, wherein the criminals had been paid out in bitcoin (and later reclaimed).
“Treasury is especially involved about cyber-enabled monetary crime, ransomware assaults, and the misuse of digital property that exploits and undermines their progressive potential, together with via laundering of illicit proceeds,” FinCEN mentioned in a press release.
FinCEN sees digital currencies as “a considerable monetary innovation,” however says they’re the “most well-liked type of fee” for quite a lot of illicit actions together with ransomware, illicit medication, and even “utilized by a few of the highest precedence menace actors to advance their unlawful actions and nuclear weapons ambitions.”
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