The Chamber recognizes that, like any industry and any currency, these technologies can be used for incredibly important purposes; but also, in some cases, to engage in unlawful activity.
Compliance with AML obligations is of utmost importance to virtual currency-related businesses. Those whose activities trigger AML compliance programs and associated record keeping and reporting requirements have and will continue to vigorously maintain the appropriate programs to deter illicit activity from entering their platforms.
Both the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the U.S. agency overseeing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a multi-governmental organization that sets standards and promotes global implementation of legal, regulatory, and operational measures for AML/CFT, have actively engaged in this area. Most recently FinCEN published guidance in May, 2019, and the FATF amended its Recommendations to include “virtual assets” and “virtual asset service providers” (VASPs) and later interpreted its Recommendation to include them within the context of its Wire Transfer framework under the “Funds Transfer Rule” and “Funds Travel Rule.” This means VASPs must:
“… obtain and hold required and accurate originator [sender] information and required beneficiary [recipient] information and submit the information to beneficiary institutions … if any. Further, countries should ensure that beneficiary institutions … obtain and hold required (not necessarily accurate) originator information and required and accurate beneficiary information …” (FATF Recommendations 2012, as amended June 2019)
Compliance with the new FATF recommendations requires many key institutions in the virtual asset industry, most notably exchanges, to institute new procedures and systems by June 2020.