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25 Mar, 25 tweets, 7 min read
FinCEN's been busy cooking up new policies, rules and initiatives, so wanted to share some things I've found interesting.

Read on for more about what FinCEN is doing with NFTs, the forthcoming Fin Crimes Tech Symposium, and what's up with the new AML law from 2020. 1/
As background for you noobs, FinCEN is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. It's my favorite network (sorry CNBC), and technically a division of the U.S. Treasury department. They make and enforce federal AML rules. 2/
With background out of the way, we can focus on important stuff

Like! The safest and easiest way to pay. 12 free cards a month, and pay for other features.

Really like us? We're hiring! Engineers, Designers, and whatever Role Meghan Markle Wants! 3/
Ok, now back to FinCEN for real. Did you know FinCEN staff is just like us and they miss conferences, too?

Here they are with their posting about a yet-to-be scheduled Financial Crime Tech Symposium! 4/
Hotter than a ticket to Money 20/22 - FinCEN is bringing together its advisory besties from the BSAAG and other interested parties to help pull off this decade's best financial crimes tech conference.

You can contribute here! Tell Tony Matt sent ya!…

But seriously, if you have pressing policy needs related to onboarding or operational efficiencies, or ideas how tech can help but is blocked by rules or guidance, you'll want to weigh in.

That's because of who's on the BSAAG 6/
FinCEN is a bit mum about who's on the BSAAG, but it's generally their industry brain trust that they tap to chat about operational issues under the BSA and related regs. They meet twice a year to share views with senior staff. 7/
BSAAG seats are limited. Like FinCEN may only have three seats for payments co's, and those companies' seats each only came up once every few years. So you might assume that PayPal, Google and Western Union are the payments seat holders, and get to speak for everyone else.

What happens if those co's use their seats to protect big-company interests? Well then Remitly, Rapyd and others might be SOL or on the wrong side of a rule or guidance update.

That's why it's good to weigh in when FinCEN invites comment. 9/
IMO, the bigger thing for FinTech companies is what Banks are doing behind the scenes. Remember Jamie Dimon complaining how FinTechs had it easy vs. banks?

Thankfully the folks at FinCEN are thoughtful, but they only know what you're working on if you chat with them. 10/
In addition to the tech symposium, FinCEN is also busy getting ready to release an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on the new beneficial ownership reporting requirements in the 2020 AML Act. This will be another chance for the industry to provide feedback.

For background reading on what was in the Act, and how it could help the industry onboard SMBs and other private co's faster, check out one of my earlier threads. Also good as a sleep aid.

"We could not be more excited about the beginning of this rule making process." Said FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco earlier this month.

And neither could I!

Seriously, I'm excited for the new beneficial owner database FinCEN is working on. It *should* allow the industry to access it for verification purposes. If designed with enabling access to financial services in mind, it could be a holy grail for faster onboarding. 14/
Here's Blanco again, talking about how FinCEN has a project team dedicated to developing the database (ignore he calls it "IT" -- he's old and from the government). Note the use of the word "stakeholders."

Blanco uses that term elsewhere and elaborates to say it also means industry, so fingers crossed we can access it. And also that it's designed with modern API features and idempotency.

(@arfrank @twilio hiring managers, did I use that work right?)

In other FinCEN news, they're also firing up the seldomly publicized (and likely rarely used) "FinCEN Exchange"

And no, this isn't where Treasury Department officials trade Doge Coin or Crypto Kitties.

The exchange is actually something one of the Trump Treasury Under Secretaries (Sigal Mandelker) created. It's an "invite only" forum where FinCEN discusses select issues with a cross section of industry, law enforcement and policy folks. 18/
The FinCEN Exchange was supposed to meet every 6 to 8 weeks, but judging from the press releases its happened far less frequently. The latest meeting was this week, to discuss low-dollar SAR activity in the South Western U.S.… 19/
And because everyone loves NFTs, FinCEN didn't want to be left out and issued some interesting guidance on "art" and "antiquities"

Now this isn't squarely aimed at NFTs, but it's not too crazy to see how FinCEN might get there.

First, Section 6110(c) of the AML act from the end of 2020 requires Treasury to study how money laundering and terrorist financing might be moving funds through the art world.

The study is also supposed to include a section on what regulations, if any, should focus on high-value trade in works of art. Including the need to identify actual purchasers of such works and other persons engaged in the art trade.

Tied to this, FinCEN is prepping for data collection and asking financial institutions to call out when they file on art-related trades by mentioning art in the SAR narrative and using new SAR filed 36(z) for these matters.

To me, it's interesting that MSBs -- including crypto exchanges like @coinbase -- are subject to this notice. So if the next Beeple changes hands via an exchange regulated as an MSB, the exchange will have to consider whether they need to file a SAR on it. 24/
And that's the show tonight! Remember to tip your wait staff! Use And better yet, come join us if you're looking for a role at a fun FinTech. My DMs are open to job seekers!

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