Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or ‘FinCEN’ is a U.S. agency – bureau of the Treasury Department – that fights financial crime. Its motto is “follow the money”.

This Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) supports local, state, federal and international law enforcement investigations to safeguard the financial system from illicit use and to fight against money laundering, terrorism financing, weapons proliferation, etc.

In the cryptocurrency and blockchain markets, FinCEN has been very active on cracking down on market manipulation, fraud and other financial crimes.

In October, FinCEN congratulated itself on the “first action taken” against a bitcoin ‘mixing’ scheme in relation to Larry Dean Harmon, the head of Helix and Coin Ninja mixing service. In November of 2020, FinCEN, alongside the Federal Reserve, proposed changing the Bank Secrecy Act SAR reporting threshold for cross-border transactions from $3,000 to $250. In December of 2020, FinCEN published a proposed set of rulings on KYC requirements for self-hosted wallets that interact with cryptocurrency exchanges.

Self-hosted wallets transacting with exchanges ruling includes; The name and address of the financial institution’s customer; The type of CVC or LTDA used in the transaction; The amount of CVC or LTDA in the transaction; The time of the transaction; The assessed value of the transaction, in U.S. Dollars, based on the prevailing exchange rate at the time of the transaction; Any payment instructions received from the financial institution’s customer; The name and physical address of each counterparty to the transaction of the financial institution’s customer; Other counterparty information the Secretary may prescribe as mandatory on the reporting form for transactions subject to reporting pursuant to § 1010.316(b); Any other information that uniquely identifies the transaction, the accounts, and, to the extent reasonably available, the parties involved; and, Any form relating to the transaction that is completed or signed by the financial institution’s customer.

To visit the FinCEN website click here.

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