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FinCEN Director Offers Most Extensive Remarks on Blockchain Since Agency’s New Guidance

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On November 15, Director Kenneth Blanco of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) offered his most extensive remarks on blockchain since the agency’s release of updated guidance in May. Speaking at the Chainalysis Blockchain Symposium, Director Blanco offered a number of insights on FinCEN’s current priorities and industry trends.

Suspicious Activity Reports

According to Director Blanco, since the publication of FinCEN’s guidance in May, the agency has received over 10,000 suspicious activity reports (SARs) related to convertible virtual currency (CVC) with 6,600 of those SARs filed by CVC-related businesses, including exchanges and kiosks. Director Blanco noted that this was a significant increase in SAR volume, particularly from CVC-related businesses, and included SARs from dozens of businesses that had never filed a SAR with FinCEN prior to the publication of the guidance.

Director Blanco also highlighted a couple of trends in SAR reporting. The first is SARs related to “potential unregistered, foreign-located money services businesses (MSBs), specifically, Venezuela-based P2P exchangers.” A foreign-located MSB is required to register with FinCEN if it conducts business in whole or in “substantial part” in the United States. (Determining precisely what constitutes “substantial part” continues to be an area of uncertainty for industry, which Director Blanco did not address.) A second trend was CVC kiosk operators reporting on “activity indicative of scam victims upon identification of new customers who have limited knowledge of convertible virtual currencies, particularly those in vulnerable populations, including the elderly.”

The Travel Rule

The application of the so-called “travel rule” to transactions in CVC was one of the key takeaways included in FinCEN’s May guidance and was recently included in a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendation to national regulators. FATF is an international standards-setting body for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing. The travel rule requires financial institutions, including MSBs, to obtain certain customer information and pass such information to other financial institutions during funds transmittals. However, industry has been struggling to identify an effective and efficient mechanism to comply as there is not currently a widely adopted mechanism to pass customer information in connection with blockchain-based transactions.

Director Blanco emphasized that the travel rule “applies to CVC, and we expect you to comply, period” and added, “to date it is the most commonly cited violation by the IRS against MSBs engaged in CVC money transmission.” However, he did not address industry’s struggle to identify a compliance solution for CVC transactions.

Stablecoins and Anonymity Enhanced Coins

With respect to stablecoins, Director Blanco noted that “accepting and transmitting activity denominated in stablecoins makes you a money transmitter under the BSA. It does not matter if the stablecoin is backed by a currency, a commodity, or even an algorithm — the rules are the same.” He also addressed what he referred to as anonymity enhanced coins (AECs) and stated that MSBs must be able to demonstrate to their examiners “how you mitigate risks associated with AECs, including how you identify potentially suspicious activity and comply with reporting and recordkeeping requirements — including the Funds Travel Rule.” He added, “You can count on being asked about this during an examination.” While it can sometimes be difficult to determine precisely what constitutes an AEC, Director Blanco offered Monero, Zcash, Grin, and Dash as specific examples (although not the only ones).

MSBs dealing in AECs should consider additional risks posed by AECs as part of their overall risk assessment and may need to adopt specific policies or procedures related to AECs.

Engagement with FinCEN

Finally, Director Blanco encouraged industry to contact FinCEN with questions about the agency’s regulations. He noted that the agency has received over 1,000 CVC-related questions since 2012. Routine questions can be submitted to FinCEN by phone or email. Larger “policy-oriented questions” may require the submission of a request for an administrative ruling. These administrative rulings are typically published, in an anonymized manner, on the FinCEN website. While no new administrative rulings have been published in some time, now that the agency has issued updated guidance it seems likely that additional rulings may be coming.

Source: https://www.steptoeblockchainblog.com/2019/12/fincen-director-offers-most-extensive-remarks-on-blockchain-since-agencys-new-guidance/

Blockchain

Avanti Financial Joins Kraken as a Wyoming-Approved Crypto Bank

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Blockchain pioneer Caitlin Long is now the CEO of her own special purpose depository institution (SPDI) in Wyoming. 

Avanti Financial’s banking charter was approved unanimously by the Wyoming State Banking Board on Wednesday, becoming the second newly chartered bank in the state in 2020 after Kraken Financial earned approval last month.

Avanti, like Kraken, now has to jump through a few hoops – like raising more capital – before it can be granted a certificate of authority to operate.

“Kraken definitely captured attention, but now that there’s a second one chartered it’s no longer a one-off situation and a trend is in motion,” Long told CoinDesk in an email.

Along with the charter approval, the banking board approved Avanti’s future issuance of Avit, a programmable electronic currency that’s redeemable at par with a U.S. dollar. The Avit is not a security token, meaning it is not a digital representation of an investment that’s expected to generate returns.

The Avit will be issued initially on Bitcoin sidechain Liquid and then on Ethereum, Long said. 

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/avanti-financial-joins-kraken-as-a-wyoming-approved-crypto-bank

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Kucoin and Revain Announce Partnership

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Before deciding to buy or apply for any service, consumers are primarily interested in doing their homework via the ability review via 3rd Party Objectivity based on what other people are thinking.

This is especially true for the blockchain universe. The success of Bitсoin and Ethereum has given rise to thousands of young projects that are as complex as they are innovative.

In order not to get lost in multiple offers of wallets, exchanges, and cryptocurrencies, Internet users are starting to look for reviews to guide their decision-making process.

The revain.org project began to use blockchain to keep all reviews unchanged. This gives trust to the community and allows users to learn with the ability to interact with both projects that interest them and the communities they represent.

Trust can play an extremely important role for serious companies. The KuCoin and Revain projects have started cooperation for the common benefit of both communities. The Revain Widget implemented on the main page of one of the leading exchanges allows visitors to read and write reviews directly on the platform.

Companies that have already achieved success should understand that the review widget increases a conversion rate and provides additional traffic.

And there are other pluses as well

For example, why would you buy products on a mystery shopping service if you can simply read a ready-made review on the Revain website?

And it will be fair, fast and, most importantly, it’s free.

It’s not a surprise when blockchain technologies are used in the crypto community. But the Revain Project doesn’t intend to stop there and has serious plans to expand the topic on which the writers will write reviews.

It’s important for people that the review includes pros and cons.

This could stem from concerns about fake reviews, and an underlying assumption that balanced reviews feel more authentic than reviews that are overly or exclusively positive.

Consumers want retailers to have better technology, offer more services, and establish better personal connections. Consumers think about what good shopping experience looks like in the first place. Therefore, when people read or write a review, they pay attention not only to the facts but also to the feelings that appeared after the purchase from the company to which the review was then written.

When there are feelings, it is important to preserve a zone of trust and comfort

The usual advertising channels carry information about the product and the brand. But they do not contain the emotions of other buyers. The buyer chooses where he will share his buying experience.

And it is especially important that the credibility of the review that is written on the seller’s website does not reach heaven. It is very important to have an independent platform, the need for which has been ripening for a long time in the Internet community.

Therefore, reviews are written on the Revainplatform. You can display these reviews on your website using a simple widget. Thus, customers will see the independence of the review and at the same time, they can read it without leaving your site.

Of course, there were sites for reviews, they exist now and will continue to appear. But a project like Revain meets the expectations of ordinary people and businesses as much as possible. After all, reviews cannot be deleted or falsified because of blockchain. The hash of each review is kept for centuries.

Because of this, some reviews may seem funny as their authors decided to add some new facts or correct mistakes later. I recommend visiting and reading such reviews. A very interesting experience.

 

Source: Rinat Arslanov has been the Co-Founder and CEO of Revain since its inception. He describes his passion for Revain as a life project for him. He is currently doing his Ph.D. at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics and is expected to complete his doctorate in 2022.

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EOS, Stellar Lumens, Synthetix Price Analysis: 28 October

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Bitcoin Dominance rose to 63 and Bitcoin was trading at $13,676 at press time. The altcoin market was registering some losses for the day, but a pullback on Bitcoin could see the red for other assets in the crypto space in the coming days. EOS exhibited a bearish divergence, and Stellar Lumens appeared to be forming a bearish pattern that was yet unconfirmed. Synthetix closed beneath a bearish triangle and could post losses in the coming days.

EOS

EOS, Stellar Lumens, Synthetix Price Analysis: 28 October

Source: EOS/USDT on TradingView

The bearish divergence (white) showed the price registered higher highs while the bullish momentum waned. The white trendline on the price chart also formed the upper side of an ascending broadening wedge whose base was at $2.62.

This is a pattern that generally breaks out to the downside, and the bearish divergence suggested that a drop in value for EOS might be in store.

A break below $2.62 and $2.59 would take EOS to the next level of support at $2.44.

Stellar Lumens [XLM]

EOS, Stellar Lumens, Synthetix Price Analysis: 28 October

Source: XLM/USD on TradingView

Stellar Lumens appeared to be forming an inverted cup. A break below the rim of the cup, at level $0.079 which is also a support, could see XLM move as low as $0.072.

The Directional Movement Index was also inching toward 20 and moving above would indicate a strong trend. The -DI (pink) showed the bearish nature of the trend.

Synthetix Network [SNX]

EOS, Stellar Lumens, Synthetix Price Analysis: 28 October

Source: SNX/USD on TradingView

Synthetix Network was forming a descending triangle, characterized by successive smaller bounces off the same level of support at $3.48. The OBV was also trending lower in the past weeks.

Recently, the price closed beneath the base of the triangle. Alongside, the OBV also dropped beneath the floor it has maintained above for a month (orange), indicating that buying volume was quickly dwindling as bears took control of the market.

A break beneath support at $3.36 was likely for SNX, with the next region of support at $3.

Source: https://eng.ambcrypto.com/eos-stellar-lumens-synthetix-price-analysis-28-october

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