FinCEN Director Warns Crypto Firms Are Not Above Anti-Money Laundering Laws
Speaking at the University of Georgetown, Kenneth Blanco, FinCEN (The United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) Director, blasted crypto firms by warning them that they are not exempted from the anti-money laundering laws. This was first reported by AmericanBanker on 21 October 2019.
According to the news, Blanco is adamant that fintech firms that offer currency users anonymity are subject to the same regulations as traditional firms. He stressed that they must comply with AML laws stating, "The expectation is that you will comply with existing regulations."
Kenneth's comments appeared to be pointing towards crypto firms that offer anonymous payment services that could hide intended criminal activities. In this case, he commented that the reason user identity is necessary is to ensure transactions are free of illicit activities.
"Whether it’s opioids ... or human smuggling on the other side ... you want to know who that person is.” said Blanco. He further stressed, “So when you tell me you don’t know who’s on the other side, you’ve got a big problem. Because you are required to know, and that is what our expectation is going to be."
He concluded by stating that the transparency required by FinCen should not be such an issue, stating, “All we’re asking for is a name, address, account number, transaction, recipient, and amount.”
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