Virtual Currency FinCEN

Virtual Currency (aka Digital Currency or Digital Money) is a type of currency or medium of exchange that is not issued by any government nor guaranteed by a government currency. Despite lacking legal tender... more +
Virtual Currency (aka Digital Currency or Digital Money) is a type of currency or medium of exchange that is not issued by any government nor guaranteed by a government currency. Despite lacking legal tender status, Virtual Currency is still traded and exchanged in some environments, typically online environments or communities. Bitcoin is the most well-known form of Virtual Currency.    less -
News & Analysis as of

What We Know About BitCoin, and What Is Still Unknown

In Part I, we gave an overview of Bitcoin and how it’s different from the digital “real currency” that is in widespread use today. In Part II, we’ll ask and answer the question – Is Bitcoin just a fad? Is it novel in...more

Re-thinking What We Think We Know About Bitcoin (Part I)

It’s no surprise that, as the way we exchange information continues to evolve at an ever-increasing pace, the way we exchange value is rapidly evolving too. This two-part series explores the Bitcoin evolution occurring in...more

The CSBS Finalizes Model Framework for Virtual Currencies

On September 15, 2015, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) issued its final Model Regulatory Framework on virtual currency activities (“Final Framework”). The Final Framework follows the CSBS’s December 2014...more

FinCEN Determines That Issuing a Digital Certificate Evidencing Ownership in Precious Metals, and Buying and Selling Precious...

On August 14, FinCEN issued an Administrative Ruling, FIN-2015-R001, determining that a company that: i) provides Internet-based brokerage services between buyers and sellers of precious metals; ii) buys and sells precious...more

Virtual Currencies are Getting Attention from Industry and Bank Regulators

Virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, once a novel means of exchange, have become so commonplace that in May of this year the New York Stock Exchange created a first-of-its-kind index (the “Index”) representing the U.S. dollar...more

FinCEN Enforcement and Regulatory Focus—Transparency in Real Estate Transactions, Virtual Currency and More

Why it matters - Transparency in the financial system was underscored as a key focus for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) by Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery in a speech before the West Coast AML Forum...more

Corporate Investigations & White Collar Defense - May 2015

It’s an Absolute Privilege to Meet You! Texas Supreme Court Rules That Internal Investigation Report Provided by Shell Oil to DOJ Enjoys “Absolute Privilege” - Why it matters: On May 15, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court...more

Ripple Labs Fined $700,000 Over Bank Secrecy Act Violations: Lessons Learned from FinCEN’s first Civil Enforcement Action Against...

On May 5, 2015, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) fined Ripple Labs Inc. (“Ripple Labs”) and its wholly owned subsidiary XRP Fund II LLC (“XRP II”) $700,000 for violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”)....more

Red Notice Newsletter - May 2015

Welcome to the May 2015 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. This month on the anticorruption front, a German engineering firm tests Brazil's recently implemented anticorruption...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - May 2015 #4

CFPB Fines Bank $7.5M for Overdraft Violations, With $49M More in Redress - Why it matters: In its first action targeting overdraft fees, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) fined Regions Bank $7.5...more

“Firsts” for the World of Virtual Currencies

There have been two recent virtual currency-related actions worthy of note: (1) the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) announced its first civil enforcement action against a virtual currency exchanger, and (2)...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - May 2015 #2

Senator Shelby Releases Discussion Draft of Financial Regulatory Bill. On May 12 Senator Richard Shelby, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, announced that the Committee had...more

FinCEN Resolves First Enforcement Action Against Virtual Currency Exchange

On May 5, a virtual currency company and its subsidiary agreed to pay a $700,000 civil money penalty for violating multiple provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), in which both companies acted as a money service business...more

Federal Authorities Announce Settlement with Ripple Labs Inc. Resolving Investigation

Federal authorities announced this week a settlement with Ripple Labs Inc. and its subsidiary, XRP Fund II, resolving an investigation by FinCEN and the Department of Justice into violations of the Bank Secrecy Act.  ...more

FinCEN Announces First Civil Enforcement Action Against Virtual Currency Exchanger

Continuing its aggressive anti-money laundering enforcement agenda, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced yesterday that it had commenced the first-ever civil enforcement action...more

How Not to Use Bitcoin

The use of Bitcoin has both legal and potentially illegal applications. Bitcoin is just a contemporary version of the Informal Value Transfer System, (“IVTS”) which in some countries is known as the Hawala. The IVTS has been...more

FinCrimes Update - November 2014 Summary, Volume 1, Issue 9

IN THIS ISSUE: BSA/AML & OFAC | Virtual Currency & Payment Systems | FCPA & Anti-Corruption | Criminal Enforcement. ...more

Digital Currency Corner - What FinCEN’s Denial of Payment Processing Exemption for Virtual Currency-Related Businesses Means for...

Why it matters - The rapid evolution of virtual and digital currencies has spawned significant activity in several federal agencies with implications potentially for traditional entities in certain cases. In addition...more

Recent Key Bitcoin and Virtual Currency Regulatory and Law Enforcement Developments

In recent months, US federal and state regulators have continued to focus on Bitcoin and the adoption of a regulatory framework for it and other "virtual currencies," as well as the enforcement of existing securities laws to...more

FinCEN Continues Scrutiny of Virtual Currency Companies

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network recently issued two administrative rulings holding that certain virtual currency trading platforms and payment systems were subject to registration as money services businesses....more

FinCEN Rules Proposed Virtual Currency Exchange, Bitcoin Payment System Subject to BSA

On October 27, FinCEN issued two administrative rulings to companies seeking guidance on whether they must register as MSBs and be subject to the required reporting, recordkeeping, and monitoring obligations. In its first...more

FinCEN Rulings Designate Certain Virtual Currency Businesses as Money Transmitters

On October 27, 2014, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) issued two administrative rulings regarding virtual currency. The first administrative ruling concerns a proposed virtual currency trading and booking...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - October 2014 #5

In this issue: - In preliminarily denying two exemption requests, the SEC takes a stand for market transparency in ETFs and upholds the arbitrage mechanism that allows market prices to closely track NAVs. -...more

FinCEN Issues New Rulings Covering Virtual Currency Exchanges and Payment Processors

On Monday, FinCEN issued two advisory rulings responding to requests for clarification regarding the money transmitter status of two virtual currency companies. While the advisory rulings are technically limited to only the...more

FinCEN Releases Two Rulings Classifying a Bitcoin Payment System and Virtual Currency Trading Platform as MSBs

In its opening salvo bringing bitcoin under the watchful eye of the federal government, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a Guidance (FIN-2013-G001) in March 2013 clarifying that anti-money laundering...more

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