Director of FinCEN Acknowledges Surge of Surveillance in Cryptocurrency Sector


The Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, Kenneth Blanco has stated that the cryptocurrency sector is beginning to adhere to the organization’s laws on money transmission services.

Blanco mentioned this in a lecture at the American Bankers Association/ American Bar Association Financial Crimes Enforcement Conference which was held on the 10th of December. The Director explained that the May 2019 guidance code was starting to have a favorable effect on the cryptocurrency sector.

Exponential Increase in SARs Since May
Sometime in May, the FinCEN published a guidance code for cryptocurrency-related companies to use as a guide. The guidance code illustrates how its laws concerned with Money Services Businesses relate to specific business models in the cryptocurrency sector.

Blanco explained that since its release, the organization has witnessed a substantial increase in Suspicious Activities Reports, which totaled at 11,000.

7,000 of those reports are related to cryptocurrency transactions such as kiosks, exchanges, and peer-to-peer exchanges. He stated that this increase marks a 100% increase in SARs received by the organization.

He added that it has been observed that cryptocurrency-related companies are becoming more open to internalizing key advisory terms and are even going as far as using these terms in their filings. He said that this was a clear sign that the sector was adopting the FinCEN’s laws and was reporting suspicious activities promptly.

More Suspicious Activities Getting Flagged
Since the implementation of the law, an increase in reports of users who execute cryptocurrency transactions using wallets that are associated with darknet marketplaces, and activities that seem to have characteristics of a scam, has been noticed.

Blanco’s lecture is a confirmation to his August lecture where he recounted that the FinCEN was witnessing a surge in SARs, with reports reaching 1,500 monthly at the time.

Also in August, he made a direct plea to casinos that facilitate crypto payments to look into ways of which they could carry out due diligence on their customers and comply with the guidance code.

Some months ago, the US House of Representatives passed a bill that required the Director of FinCEN to carry out surveys on the adoption of new technologies, including blockchain, within the organization.

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.