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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FinCEN proposes new reporting requirements for certain CVC and digital asset transactions

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance FinCEN Anti-Money Laundering Virtual Currency Fintech Of Interest to Non-US Persons Bank Secrecy Act

Agency Rule-Making & Guidance

On December 18, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would require financial institutions and money service businesses (MSBs) to maintain records and submit reports to verify customer identities for certain transactions involving convertible virtual currency (CVC) or digital assets with legal tender status (LTDA). Under the NPRM, the requirements would apply to transactions involving CVC and LTDA that are held in certain “hosted” wallets at financial institutions, as well as in “unhosted” wallets, which are not held in an exchange or bank. Banks and MSBs would be required to file transaction reports within 15 days with FinCEN verifying the identity of customers if a counterparty to the transaction is using an unhosted or otherwise covered wallet and the transaction is greater than $10,000. Banks and MSBs would also be required to maintain records of customers’ CVC or LTDA transactions and counterparties—“including verifying the identity of their customers, if a counterparty uses an unhosted or otherwise covered wallet and the transaction is greater than $3,000.” According to Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, the proposed rule “is intended to protect national security, assist law enforcement, and increase transparency while minimizing impact on responsible innovation” by “closing loopholes that malign actors may exploit.” FinCEN notes that, while the NPRM “proposes to prescribe by regulation that CVC and LTDA are ‘monetary instruments’ for purposes of the” Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), it does not “modify the regulatory definition of ‘monetary instruments’ or otherwise alter existing BSA regulatory requirements applicable to ‘monetary instruments’ in FinCEN’s regulations.” Comments on the NPRM were due January 4. 

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