Category: Alerts

Alaric Compliance Alert: SEC, CFTC and FINCEN Issue Joint Statement On Activities Involving Digital Assets

On October 11th, the leaders of three regulatory bodies, Heath Tarbert, Chairman, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Kenneth A. Blanco, Director, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and Jay Clayton, Chairman, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), issued a joint statement “reminding anyone engaged in activities involving digital assets of their anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)”.1

Regardless of the label or terminology that marketing participants may use or what those currencies are called, the AML/CFT duties apply to all entities that are officially regarded as “financial institutions” by the BSA. These institutions include “futures commission merchants and introducing brokers obligated to register with the CFTC, money services businesses (MSBs) as defined by FinCEN, and broker-dealers and mutual funds obligated to register with the SEC.”

“It is the facts and circumstances underlying an asset, activity or service including its economic reality and use (whether intended or organically developed or repurposed), that determine the general categorization of an asset, the specific regulatory treatment of the activities involving the asset and whether the persons involved are ‘financial institutions’ for purpose of the Bank Secrecy Act.”


If you have questions on this statement, or for information about our compliance services, please email us at, or call Alaric at 888-243-2448.

1 The BSA is codified at 31 U.S.C. §§ 5311-5314; 5316-5332 and 12 U.S.C. §§ 1829b, 1951-1959

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