FinCEN Sends Letters to Bitcoin Companies

According to the Chicago Tribune, FinCEN recently sent out letters to a number of companies operating in the Bitcoin space, warning them of their AML/BSA compliance duties under federal law.  The article dated, December 17, 2013,,0,4901569.story says that FinCEN refers to its contact with such businesses as “industry outreach.”  Does such “outreach” mean anything additional to the already existing “guidance” that FinCEN released this past March?

Though it’s difficult to be sure what this outreach means, what is clear is that the Treasury Department is intending to establish a regulatory foothold in the virtual currency space.  Requesting information about a particular recipient’s business model, may indicate that FinCEN does not wish to make rash moves, potentially damaging its credibility, in an industry where few regulations currently are in place.

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