The United States Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced two administrative rulings Thursday with regard to whether an individual or business’s actions in the virtual currency space would classify them as a money transmitter, thereby being requiring them to register with FinCEN.
The first ruling notes that miners of virtual currencies, the most popular of which is bitcoin, who do so for their own purposes are not considered to be a money transmitter. They will not have to register with FinCEN.
The second ruling states that companies that buy and/or sell bitcoin and other virtual currencies for investment purposes and “exclusively for the company’s benefit” are also not considered to be a money transmitter. They too are not required to register unless their business carries out other money-transmitting activity.
FinCEN’s publication of these rulings come amid confusion and uncertainty in the bitcoin community — those unsure whether they could be held legally liable for not complying with the Bank Secrecy Act by registering with FinCEN, which by many accounts is not an easy process.
Read the FinCEN statement here.