The U.S. SEC, Fincen and CFTC issued a rare joint statement Friday addressing regulation of “activities involving digital assets.” Citing crypto’s perceived role in money laundering and terrorism, the regulatory power trio prescribed stricter adherence to anti-money laundering (AML) policies and know your customer (KYC) protocols. The statement is a highly visible product of the new crypto reality: for many, it’s no longer about Satoshi’s vision, but regulated, de-clawed digital assets for the obedient masses.
Centralization of Decentralized Money
For all the bluster about “Bitcoin revolution” that pervaded the cryptosphere not so long ago, permissionless money, along with calls for death to central banks, the once roaring lion of crypto opinion now seems to have been transformed into a skittish, whimpering kitten. Bitcoin maximalism has brought with it the unthinking zealotry common to religious fanaticism, and those who want to moon lambo as fast as possible are happy to hear about government adoption and approval even if it means sacrificing core utility.
Let’s be clear, Bitcoin as a technology cannot be centralized if people don’t want it to be, but if they fail to use freely, it can indeed be neutralized as such. It’s not a silver bullet or standalone cure-all. Bitcoin requires human action.
In their joint statement, the U.S. regulatory groups assert:
The leaders of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Agencies”) today issued the following joint statement to remind persons 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).
In and of themselves,