The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury has revealed that it is currently receiving more than 1,500 reports every month from financial institutions regarding cryptocurrencies.
Kenneth Blanco, the director at FinCEN told the public during a speech at the Chicago-Kent Block (Legal) Tech Conference in regards to how the FinCEN is handling regulations in cryptocurrency and other financial innovation. According to him, of the total number of Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) filings, cryptocurrency-related cases accounted for 1,500 filings. SARs are required for suspected incidents of money laundering or financial fraud.
He acknowledged the benefits of cryptocurrency which provides customers with greater access to an array of financial services, at faster speeds. He noted, however, that as the industry evolves and adopt these new technologies, they are also creating opportunities for devious individuals such as financial criminals, terrorists and rogue states to flourish.
Kenneth also stressed the on the importance of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) filings the agency receives from financial institutions, including exchangers in virtual currencies. Noting that such information “is critical to our [FinCEN] mission of keeping our country strong, our financial system secure, and our families and communities safe from harm.”
The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and similar regulations were formulated to protect against financial threats, but for them to work efficiently, financial institutions need to comply with the anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) framework.
Kenneth explained that the role of FinCEN was to protect financial systems from nefarious elements who seek to harm others and undermine confidence in the systems. He recommended a strong culture of compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) framework. FinCEN will hold companies and individuals accountable when they disregard their obligations and allow the financial system to be exploited by criminals, he warned.