The United States Treasury’s FinCEN (Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) has sent letters to a number of bitcoin-related businesses that serve as warnings to be compliant with anti-money laundering regulations set forth by United States federal and state legislation.
This letter, described as an “industry outreach” essentially requests more information about the recipients’ business and operating models, and intimidatingly suggests that operating around the bitcoin cryptocurrency is somewhat of a “gray area,” and as such, business owners should “err on the side of caution”.
What that means is registering with FinCEN as a money transmitting service (which in itself is said to be immensely time-consuming), register with the state, report questionable user activity, and more.
The fear is that such hurdles could put these small bitcoin businesses out of business. Just recently, Casascius coin manufacturer Michael Caldwell received one of the aforementioned letters, and has since suspended his operation.
Until crystal-clear legislation is put together on how to handle bitcoin businesses and eliminate the gray area, the hurdles for businesses will remain. One thing is for sure, though. The United States will not allow the bitcoin realm to be unregulated. (via Reuters)