Partial success – US authorities postpone controversial crypto law until government changes
The extension of the comment period not only buys time for the industry, but also a completely new basis for negotiations.
After a flood of feedback, the US Treasury Department’s anti-money laundering agency has now extended the comment period for its proposed law on the supervision of crypto transactions
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has accordingly last Thursday announced that the time window is extended for further feedback. The bill in question was two days before Christmas and just under a month before the upcoming change of government input , which in addition to the content, criticism of the proposal also fierce headwind triggered the timing with respect.
The change in the law provides that the threshold for reporting obligations for crypto payment service providers, such as Bitcoin Revolution, will be lowered for transactions with self-managed crypto wallets. This would make the interaction with such wallets more difficult or unpleasant, which is why the crypto community sees it as an attack on the peer-to-peer (P2P) basic idea of cryptocurrencies.
The original feedback period was only 15 days, many of which were holidays, which made the criticism of the input even more critical
Yesterday’s expansion is therefore a first partial success for the crypto industry in the debate about the controversial law. For its part, the authority writes: „FinCEN welcomes the amount of feedback and has already checked more than 7,500 comments that have been submitted so far.“
With the change of government from Trump to Biden only five days away, there will also be a change in leadership for FinCEN. All signs point to Janet Yellen taking over as new Treasury Secretary from Steven Mnuchin. Although some voices suspect that Yellen could be just as restrictive as its predecessor towards the crypto industry, the extension of the comment period is not only a partial success in terms of content, but also a temporal one, because with the new government a new direction of the Ministry of Finance and of whose authorities go hand in hand.
In its extension, FinCEN seems to take into account that a distinction should be made with regard to the type and manner of crypto transactions. In its proposal, for example, it demands that information about the respective transaction must be obtained or passed on to the authorities for all deposits and withdrawals over US $ 10,000. In the case of international payments that flow into or out of the USA, the obligation to obtain and pass on information applies from 3,000 US dollars.
For the threshold of 10,000 US dollars, FinCEN allows 15 additional days for feedback, while for the threshold of 3,000 US dollars, 45 additional days can be submitted for comments:
“FinCEN grants feedback for a further 15 days for crypto transactions that are higher than US $ 10,000 or collectively greater than US $ 10,000 and concern self-managed wallets and wallets that fall within the scope of FinCEN. In addition, FinCEN provides 45 additional days of feedback on the requirement that banks and payment service providers obtain and store information about international payments. „