To understand the regulatory requirements for cryptocurrency, one must first ask the question what is money. This question is of paramount importance because the federal law definition of “money transmitting” depends in large part on state law definitions and regulator interpretations, and there is no uniform legislation that defines cryptocurrency as money for the purposes of state licensing requirements. … 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
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
On January 4, 2021, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) published an Interpretive Letter clarifying the authority of national banks and federal savings associations to participate in independent node verification networks (“INVN”) and use stablecoins to conduct payment activities and other bank-permissible functions.
A stablecoin is a type of cryptocurrency that is backed by an asset, such as a fiat currency or a commodity, which is designed to have a stable value as compared with other types of cryptocurrency. … Continue Reading
The OCC issued a letter last week stating that “a national bank [and a federal savings association] may provide . . . cryptocurrency custody services on behalf of customers, including by holding the unique cryptographic keys associated with cryptocurrency.” The letter also reaffirms the OCC’s position that “national banks [and federal savings associations] may provide permissible banking services to any lawful business they chose, including cryptocurrency business, so long as they effectively manage the risks and comply with applicable law.”… Continue Reading