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Insight : The FinCen published a guidance that specify the scope of application of FinCEN’s regulation involving convertible virtual currencies

On 9 May 2019, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), published a guidance  that specified the scope of application of FinCEN’s regulations to certain activities involving convertible virtual currencies. FinCEN is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury in charge of combatting money laundering and terrorist financing.

The timing of this publication is not insignificant. It coincides with the transposition by several European Union Member States of the provisions of the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive  relating to virtual currencies and comes a few weeks before the plenary meeting of the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) to be held in Orlando, Florida, in mid-June 2019. On this occasion, FATF members will be invited to approve the interpretative note clarifying recommendation 15, updated in October 2018, which subjects “virtual asset service providers” to the applicable AML/CFT obligations.

Contents of this article:

  • FinCEN reaffirms its position taken in 2013 by re-stating the definition of “convertible virtual currencies” (“CVC”)
  • The definition of “money transmitter”, which determines the application of AML/CFT obligations
  • Type of activities involving the transmission of CVC

Click here to read the article in full, written by Stéphane Puel, Gide managing partner, and Jennifer D’hoir, member of Gide 255.