Regulators Sharpen Focus on Anti-Money Laundering Expectations for Crypto Industry

January 19, 2023

U.S. regulators are signaling heightened expectations for anti-money laundering compliance within the crypto industry. Although FinCEN issued guidance in 2013 interpreting virtual currency “administrators” and “exchanges” as money services businesses (“MSBs”) subject to Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) requirements, both the crypto industry and U.S. regulators have evolved significantly in the past 10 years. While some crypto industry players have implemented bank-style anti-money laundering programs requiring customers to disclose their identity and source of wealth, other players have created projects specifically designed to bolster anonymity. In recent weeks, U.S. regulators and legislators have taken several actions to push the crypto industry toward a broader and more fulsome adoption of anti-money laundering controls.

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