The US Department of the Treasury is developing a special information sharing platform for cryptocurrency exchanges that would facilitate the reporting of illegal operations, Kenneth Blanco, Director of the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), said on August 9.
“We are in the process of setting up a virtual currency-focused FinCEN Exchange program with the private sector and law enforcement, which will provide a platform for all of us to engage with industry developments, concerns, and share risks and threats that we are seeing,” – Blanco said.
The new platform will be similar to the FinCEN Exchange program for traditional trading operators, FinCEN chief explained during the 2018 Chicago-Kent Block (Legal) Tech Conference.
In December last year, FinCEN, which is a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury, introduced an information platform for cooperation between fiat exchanges and regulators. It functions as a place for regular operational briefings with federal law enforcement agencies. The platform focuses on combating money laundering, terrorism financing, and other financial crimes.
Blanco said that currently FinCEN receives around 1,500 Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) related to cryptocurrency every month, most of them coming from digital coin industry representatives. The number is a significant increase since 2014 when FinCEN issued a package of administrative rulings that put cryptocurrency exchanges under the scope of the agency, including the non-US-based trading platforms. The body has various anti-money laundering (AML) and combating financing of terrorism (CFT) rules.
The FinCEN chief revealed that the agency will chair a forum of the Egmont Group, the body of more than 155 financial intelligence units worldwide, and one of the focuses will be cryptocurrency as part of the FinCEN efforts to draw attention to sector-related risks.