On Friday, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced two developments: First, the release of a 66-page report, The Role of Law Enforcement in Detecting, Investigating, and Prosecuting Criminal Activity Related to Digital Assets (the “Report”), issued under President Biden’s March 9, 2022 Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets. … Continue Reading
On August 10, 2022, four Senators, Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT), sent a letter to Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael Hsu, asking him to reverse four interpretive letters regarding whether it is permissible for national banks to provide cryptocurrency services.
Under Mr.… Continue Reading
On August 19, 2022, the FDIC issued cease and desist letters to five crypto companies, alleging they made false and misleading statements about FDIC deposit insurance and demanding immediate corrective action. The five companies are FTX US, Cryptonews.com, CryptoSec.info, SmartAsset.com, and FDICCrypto.com. The FDIC’s actions come weeks after issuing an “Advisory to FDIC-Insured Institutions Regarding Deposit Insurance and Dealings with Crypto Companies” to address the agency’s concerns regarding misrepresentations about FDIC deposit insurance.… Continue Reading
The FDIC has issued an “Advisory to FDIC-insured institutions Regarding Deposit Insurance and Dealings with Crypto Companies” to address the agency’s concerns regarding misrepresentations about FDIC deposit insurance by certain crypto companies. Of particular concern to the FDIC is the risk that consumer confusion or harm can arise from crypto assets offered by, through, or in connection with an insured bank particularly when a non-bank offers crypto assets to its customers while also offering an insured bank’s deposit products.… Continue Reading
On May 19, 2022, the Associate Director of the Enforcement and Compliance Division of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), Alessio Evangelista, spoke at the Chainalysis Links Conference in New York City on the topic of “The Intersection of Cryptocurrencies and National Security.” Associate Director Evangelista stressed “responsible innovation” by the cryptocurrency industry, in order to protect consumers and national security interests, as well as to combat cybercrime and other illicit financial activity. … Continue Reading
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency entered into a Consent Order with Anchorage Digital Bank (“Anchorage”), which requires Anchorage to create a compliance committee and take steps to remediate alleged shortcomings with respect to the implementation and effectiveness of Anchorage’s Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (“BSA/AML”) program. Notably, Anchorage will pay no civil penalty.
President Biden has signed an Executive Order intended to respond to the explosive growth in digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. Titled “Executive Order on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets,” the Order is described by the White House as “outlining the first ever, whole-of-government approach to addressing the risks and harnessing the potential benefits of digital assets and their underlying technology.”… Continue Reading
In addition to discussing what cryptocurrency is, we look at some of the regulatory rules that apply to this increasingly popular but complicated financial instrument, including registration and compliance program requirements, and consider how crypto exchanges, financial institutions, and other businesses should address crypto transactions involving unhosted digital wallets and requirements for the identification and reporting of counter-parties to transactions.… Continue Reading
In Bulletin 2021-36 Freddie Mac addresses cryptocurrency in the mortgage qualification process. Freddie Mac indicated that it is providing guidance “[d]ue to the high level of uncertainty associated with cryptocurrency.”
Freddie Mac advises that the Seller/Servicer Guide is updated to include the following guidance:
- Income paid to the borrower in cryptocurrency may not be used to qualify for the mortgage.
The Federal Reserve Board, FDIC, and OCC (collectively, the “Agencies”) issued on November 23 a short Joint Statement on Crypto-Asset Policy Sprint Initiative and Next Steps (“Joint Statement”), which announced – without further concrete detail – that they had assembled a “crypto asset roadmap” in order to provide greater clarity in 2022 to banks on the permissibility of certain crypto-asset activities. … Continue Reading