October 11, 2019

Financial regulators issue BSA compliance advisory

Three regulatory agencies of the United States government have issued a joint statement to remind those engaged in digital asset transactions of their obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act.  In the statement, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the US Securities and Exchange Commission defined digital assets to include instruments that may qualify under US law as securities, commodities and security-or-commodity-based instruments; this may include virtual assets, crypto-assets, digital tokens, digital coins, digital currencies, cryptocurrencies, and convertible virtual currencies.  The anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing obligations of the Bank Secrecy Act apply to financial institutions such as futures commissions merchants, some brokers and money services business and broker-dealers, but regardless of the label used to describe an asset or institution, the facts and circumstances underlying the asset or activity will determine how it is categorized for purposes of the BSA.

FinCEN press release