VIENNA, Va. - To provide clarity and regulatory certainty for businesses and individuals engaged in an expanding field of financial activity, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) today issued the following guidance, Application of FinCEN's Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies. The guidance is in response to questions raised by financial institutions, law enforcement, and regulators concerning the regulatory treatment of persons who use convertible virtual currencies or make a business of exchanging, accepting, and transmitting them. Convertible virtual currencies either have an equivalent value in real currency or act as a substitute for real currency.
FinCEN's rules define certain businesses or individuals as money services businesses (MSBs) depending on the nature of their financial activities. MSBs have registration requirements and a range of anti-money laundering, recordkeeping, and reporting responsibilities under FinCEN's regulations. The guidance considers the use of virtual currencies from the perspective of several categories within FinCEN's definition of MSBs.