Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on March 20, 2013

“The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) is issuing this interpretive guidance to clarify the applicability of the regulations implementing the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) to persons creating, obtaining, distributing, exchanging, accepting, or transmitting virtual currencies. Such persons are referred to in this guidance as “users,” “administrators,” and “exchangers,” all as defined below. A user of virtual currency is not an MSB under FinCEN’s regulations and therefore is not subject to MSB registration, reporting, and recordkeeping regulations. However, an administrator or exchanger is an MSB under FinCEN’s regulations, specifically, a money transmitter, unless a limitation to or exemption from the definition applies to the person. An administrator or exchanger is not a provider or seller of prepaid access, or a dealer in foreign exchange, under FinCEN’s regulations.”

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