Cryptocurrency exchanges avoiding the US due to confusing regulation

Author: Olly Jackson | Published: 26 Mar 2018

Stringent yet confusing US regulations are putting off cryptocurrency exchanges from operating in the country. Recent developments show that this regulatory framework is only going to strengthen.

Earlier this month the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (Fincen) published a letter that was sent to Senator Ron Wyden, explaining that an exchange would need to register as a money transmitter and comply with money laundering and know your customer (KYC) rules. The letter does not carry any legal authority but could be a clue as to what will happen next. Previously, it was assumed that only an exchange selling securities would need to register with Fincen as a money transmitter.

In the letter, Fincen also explained that initial coin offering (ICO) arrangements vary and token sales structured as a security would be regulated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and derivatives regulated under the Commodities Futures Trading Commission. In a further confusing development, earlier this...