The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an agency of the Treasury Department tasked with preventing and punishing money laundering and other financial crimes, has turned its attention to crypto.
In the agency’s first list of government-wide priorities published Wednesday, FinCEN identified eight priorities: corruption, cybercrime and relevant virtual currency considerations, terrorist financing, fraud, transnational criminal organization activity, drug trafficking, human trafficking and proliferation financing.
So far, the agency’s list of priorities is not connected to any policies. According to FinCEN’s statement, the agency “will issue regulations at a later date that will specify how financial institutions should incorporate these Priorities into their risk-based AML [anti-money laundering] programs.”
FinCEN has been wrestling with its approach to cryptocurrencies since late 2020, when a hotly debated rule was floated by the Treasury Department that would require crypto exchanges to identify personal wallets making large transactions.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), another agency of the Treasury Department, has also made headlines – first in 2016 and again earlier this year – for issuing controversial “John Doe” summons to crypto exchanges for names associated with large transactions.