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US Treasury Updates Bitcoin Regulations

Congratulations, Bitcoin, you've made the big time!  How do we know?  Easy, the Feds have you in their sights.

I'm leaving today on a trip, but I'll have more on my analysis later.  Keep in mind that it was the anti-money laundering laws that brought down e-gold and stifle currency competition.  Let's hope this won't be the case moving forward.

Here's the key part, "A user of virtual currency is not an MSB under FinCEN’s regulations and therefore is not subject to MSB registration, reporting, and recordkeeping regulations. However, an administrator or exchanger is an MSB under FinCEN’s regulations, specifically, a money transmitter, unless a limitation to or exemption from the definition applies to the person."

They explain the terms here, "This guidance refers to the participants in generic virtual currency arrangements, using the terms “user,” “exchanger,” and “administrator.”6 A user is a person that obtains virtual currency to purchase goods or services.7 An exchanger is a person engaged as a business in the exchange of virtual currency for real currency, funds, or other virtual currency. An administrator is a person engaged as a business in issuing (putting into circulation) a virtual currency, and who has the authority to redeem (to withdraw from circulation) such virtual currency."

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is the bureau of Treasury that enforces the Bank Secrecy Act (which requires banks to spy on their customers for the government).

FinCEN Issues Guidance on Virtual Currencies and Regulatory Responsibilities

To provide clarity and regulatory certainty for businesses and individuals engaged in an expanding field of financial activity, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today issued the following guidance: Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies. The guidance is in response to questions raised by financial institutions, law enforcement, and regulators concerning the regulatory treatment of persons who use convertible virtual currencies or make a business of exchanging, accepting, and transmitting them. Convertible virtual currencies either have an equivalent value in real currency or act as a substitute for real currency. The guidance considers the use of virtual currencies from the perspective of several categories within FinCEN's definition of MSBs.

News Release:


I wrote a good background on the anti-money laundering laws for Dr. Paul here:


I've written extensively on FinCEN previously here:

Here is the guidance:

FinCEN Bitcoin Regulation