It hasn’t been much of a secret that, while the rest of the developed world was moving forward with cryptocurrency regulations, the U.S. was lagging behind. The country, at least on the surface, has appeared to maintain a hands-off approach to regulating the crypto industry, perhaps because providing blanket guidance would somehow be viewed as a validation of digital currency. However, the idea of crypto as a form of legitimate money cannot be ignored, and even the most anti-crypto pundits are now realizing this. The U.S. seems to be slowly coming around, as well, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has just introduced regulations that will help establish the digital currency industry as a legitimate one in the country.
The Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework (CEF) was put together by the DOJ’s Cyber-Digital Task Force and released on October 8 by Attorney General William Barr. The guidance by the country’s top law enforcement division is designed to lay down the law on legal obligations by companies operating in the crypto space, while addressing what constitutes being an operator in the industry. It is the first time the DOJ has weighed in on, and provided guidance for, the crypto ecosystem.
As was to be expected, the DOJ wants to make sure crypto isn’t used for money laundering and, if it is, the criminals can be properly brought to justice. The CEF states that “individuals and entities that offer money transmitting services involving virtual assets … as well as certain issuers, exchangers, and brokers of virtual assets, are considered MSBs … subject to [anti-money-laundering]/combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) regulations as well as certain licensing and registration requirements[.]” It adds that “such virtual currency administrators and exchangers are obligated to have AML programs, to file Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), and to follow other BSA requirements.”
The DOJ also acknowledges that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Department of Treasury will be able to continue clamping down on crypto-related activity as they see fit, including up to the seizure of assets if warranted. Put simply, any crypto company needs to follow the same guidelines as any financial entity in the U.S. if they want to avoid running afoul of the DOJ, or of any state or local regulations.
This is good news for the crypto industry and should be accepted as such. Bitcoin SV (BSV), the only digital currency that can legitimately call itself Bitcoin, has been built on a platform of regulatory compliance and has consistently asserted that crypto was designed to work in tandem with financial laws. The creation of the CEF by the DOJ shows that BSV was right all along, and that the entire crypto industry will have to abide by established financial and governmental regulations if it plans on surviving.