FinCEN Cryptocurrency Practices Attract Attention of US Treasury

In the recent annual plan report published by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the US Treasury Department indicated its plan to review the cryptocurrency practices of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). This is in accordance with the risks relating to money laundering and financial terrorism using the digital currency system.

Though the plan for the fiscal year 2018 was published last week, OIG did not cite any details about the audit. Even the timeline of the audit was not disclosed.

In the report, it stated: “We plan to determine how FinCEN identifies, prioritizes, and addresses money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with virtual currencies.”

Set up in 1990, FinCEN’s main motive is to protect the US financial system from illicit use, combat money laundering and promote national security. This agency, operating under the US Department of Treasury, has attracted a lot of controversy over the years.

For instance, in 2012, FinCEN’s regulations against structuring were allegedly biased in favor of the big corporations and politically connected people, and were unfairly targeting only small businesses.

In July 2017, FinCEN fined BTC-e a $110 million civil penalty for wilfully violating US anti-money laundering laws. It was FinCEN’s first enforcement action against any foreign-located money service business.

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