US SEC, FinCEN, CFTC Jointly Warn Against Illicit Use of Crypto Assets

The chairmen of the three primary financial regulators in the United States have released a joint statement warning crypto users of anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) obligations.

All for one, one for all

The statement, published Oct. 11, is a rare instance of joint action from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).



In the statement, the regulators remind those involved in the crypto trade of their reporting obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act, specifically relating to illicit use of crypto, which has been a priority for regulators recently. Regarding AML and CFT law, the statement reads: 

“Among those AML/CFT obligations are the requirement to establish and implement an effective anti-money laundering program (AML Program) and recordkeeping and reporting requirements, including suspicious activity reporting (SAR) requirements.”

Signatories to the statement were Chairman of the CFTC Heath Tarbert, FinCEN Director Kenneth A. Blanco, and SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.

Recent U.S. regulator action

On Oct. 10, Heath Tarbert said at a conference that he considered Ether (ETH) a security, and predicted ETH futures trading coming soon.

Also on Oct. 10, the SEC rejected Bitwise’s proposed Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund. An ongoing race to be the first BTC ETF permitted by U.S. regulators has yet to see a winner.

Earlier today, Oct. 11, a draft of the IRS’s new questions 1040 form for this fiscal year surfaced, revealing a new duty to report crypto assets: 

“At any time during 2019, did you receive, sell, send, exchange, or otherwise acquire any financial interest in any virtual currency?”

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