Treasury’s Cohen Warns Unregistered Bitcoin Exchanges

BitcoinExchange18 Mar 2014 / Wall Street Journal – Many digital currency exchanges and administrators still haven’t registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and for that they face financial penalties and could be charged with a federal criminal offense, the Treasury Department’s top official for terrorism and financial intelligence said Tuesday.

However, David S. Cohen, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, stressed that the U.S. government’s approach to regulating digital currencies such as bitcoin is driven by a desire to foster innovation and transparency in an industry that has significant potential.

We “know there are many virtual currency exchangers and administrators that have not registered with FinCEN and are not fulfilling their recordkeeping and reporting requirements,” Mr. Cohen said, speaking at an event at Bloomberg News in New York. “Those that do not comply with these rules should understand that their actions will have consequences. Not only are they subject to FinCEN civil monetary penalties, but knowing failure to register a money transmitting business with FinCEN—or fail to register with state authorities when required–can be a federal criminal offense.”

Mr. Cohen’s comments suggest that FinCEN, an agency under the Treasury, is now prepared to act aggressively to enforce registration requirements that were laid down in the fall during Washington hearings into digital currency regulation…. Read more

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