Eight US Congress Members Raise Concerns Over Crypto Rule By The US Treasury
Eight Congress members, including US Congressman, Tom Emmer recently sent a letter to the US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, regarding the proposed FinCEN regulation for cryptocurrency assets. Through the letter, the eight demanded an extension of the comment period given for the proposed regulation to at least 60 days. The members explained that the 15 days comment period given for the proposed crypto KYC rules was too short of having a meaningful discussion.
The letter further explained that the rushed process would threaten the legitimacy of the proposed crypto rule. The members explained:
“We write to express our concerns regarding the process to respond to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) related to requirements for certain transactions involving convertible cryptocurrency or digital assets.” They added, “We are concerned that the Treasury Department’s approach to establishing complex new rules for the recordkeeping and reporting of convertible virtual currency and legal tender digital asset transactions do not afford the American public a reasonable opportunity to respond.”
The member also asked the Treasury Secretary to delay implementing the proposed rules by at least six months. This is to give the stakeholders an appropriate timeframe to comply with the rules.
Bitgo Fined For Allowing Users To Bypass Sanctions With Crypto
The United States office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) recently fined Bitgo, a cryptocurrency wallet service provider. This is for allowing users from sanctioned countries to use its crypto wallet services. According to authorities, Bitgo had processed 183 cryptocurrency transactions in “violations to multiple sanctions programs.”
The agency explained:
“Bitgo failed to prevent persons located in the Crimea region of Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria from using its non-custodial secure digital wallet management service.”
The agency further explained that Bitgo knew these users were located -in the sanctioned jurisdictions. This is based on Internet Protocol (IP) address data associated with devices used to log in to Bitgo’s platform. The platform reportedly tracked the IP addresses for security purposes. Unfortunately, it did not use the information for sanction compliance purposes.
For the 183 transactions, Bitgo processed about $9,127.79 between March of 2015 to December of 2019. The platform has been fined a $98,830 settlement for failing to comply with the regulations. Notably, Bitgo implemented an OFAC sanctions compliance policy last year after learning about its violations.