- The US FinCEN is looking to target crypto as part of its national priorities list.
- The agency’s main aim is to prevent and punish money laundering and financial crimes.
- At the moment, they haven’t stated any related policies to the list.
The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is looking towards crypto as it makes its first ‘National Priorities’ list. As such, its keeping crypto on top of its plan to combat financial crimes.
The agency’s main aim is to prevent and punish money laundering and terrorism financing. It published its first list of national priorities on Wednesday. FinCEN took note of 8 priorities it needs to take care of as soon as possible; corruption, cybercrime and relevant virtual currency considerations, terrorist financing, fraud, transnational criminal organization activity, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and proliferation financing.
However, at this moment, the agency hasn’t specified any policies relating to this list. As per their statement, they said they will issue rules at a later date. These will specify how financial institutions should incorporate these priorities into their risk-based anti-money laundering programs.
As has been the case with most countries worldwide, the US has struggled with taking the right approach to crypto as well. FinCEN on its own has been wrestling with crypto policies too, since late 2020. This was first when the Treasury department floated a controversial rule. It would have required crypto exchanges to identify personal wallets making large transactions.
In the same way, the IRS – Internal Revenue Service, another agency of the Treasury also made headlines. Earlier this year, it came up in the news for issuing “John Doe” summons to crypto exchanges for large transactions, stirring controversy.
“Treasury is particularly concerned about cyber-enabled financial crime, ransomware attacks, and the misuse of virtual assets,” FinCEN stated. The agency also added that crime brings down crypto’s innovative potential.