February 10, 2020

An article by Law360 notes that the administration’s budget proposes $127 million to support the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN.  The network “links law enforcement law enforcement and intelligence agencies with financial institutions and regulators,” and the funding would “expand its efforts to combat emerging virtual currency and cybercrime threats,” according to Law360.  In the article, Jenner & Block Associate E.K. McWilliams explains that FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco has been signaling an increased focus on enforcing the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering requirements on cryptocurrency transactions.

“Given FinCEN’s focus on crypto businesses and the surge in [suspicious activity reports] reporting from such businesses—as well as the special challenges in investigating cryptocurrency transactions, including that the actual identities of parties conducting crypto transactions are typically masked—it is no wonder that the federal government is seeking to allocate additional resources to combat financial crime using virtual currency,” McWilliams observes.