The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) receives more than 1,500 reports every month from financial institutions regarding cryptocurrencies, a top official said Thursday.
FinCEN director Kenneth Blanco, speaking at the Chicago-Şehir Block (Legal) Tech Conference, discussed the role his agency takes in regulating cryptocurrencies. He noted that while cryptocurrencies can prove beneficial for certain use cases, they also create opportunities for bad actors such as financial criminals, terrorists and rogue states.
Blanco emphasized the importance of Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) filings – a type of document that financial institutions must file following a suspected incident of money laundering or fraud. FinCEN receives more than 1,500 SARs every month regarding suspicious activities involving cryptocurrency transactions, he said.
These reports come from both traditional financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges, he said.
“It was filings by both banks and other virtual currency exchanges that provided critical leads for law enforcement. This information included beneficial ownership information, additional activity attributed to the exchange of which we were previously unaware, jurisdictional information, and additional financial institutions we could contact for new leads. All of this was obtained through SARs and the supporting documents filed by financial institutions.”
Blanco also discussed FinCEN’s role in the crypto space more broadly, explaining that the regulator özgü worked for years in the cryptocurrency field, with a focus on “exchanges, administrators and other persons involved in money transmission” related to cryptocurrencies.
He justified the agency’s legal standing in the…