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FinCEN and State Money Transmitter Regulations for Virtual Currencies

(270 reviews)

Produced on November 08, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h 2m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Banking Criminal

Course Description

Advances in technology have ushered in tremendous growth and innovation in financial products and services, with the use of cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and other distributed ledger technologies being among the most significant. In addition to FinTech and emerging payments companies, large financial institutions and, more recently, social media platforms and big box retailers are entering the active cryptocurrency marketplace. As entities seek to introduce products and services into this space, they should evaluate the applicability of the federal Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and anti-money laundering (“AML”) regulations, as well as U.S. state money transmitter laws.

In May 2019, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the federal agency that is responsible for enforcing (with other law enforcement agencies) the BSA and AML regulations, released consolidated guidance on the application of this legal and regulatory framework to virtual currencies (the “Virtual Currencies Guidance”). States have taken different approaches on whether and to what extent virtual currencies should be regulated. Notably, in July 2019 Rhode Island became one of the most recent states to amend its money transmitter law to expressly cover virtual currency business activity. 

This course, presented by Mark W. Rasmussen, partner at Jones Day, and Eric A. Love, associate at Jones Day, will review the Virtual Currencies Guidance; address the latest in the regulatory treatment of virtual currencies under U.S. state money transmitter laws, other state regulations and guidance; and provide practical information about compliance with these complex legal and regulatory regimes.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Examine the Virtual Currencies Guidance, highlighting how the BSA and AML regulations apply to particular business models involving virtual currencies, including peer-to-peer exchangers, digital wallets, and payment processors
  2. Review the latest developments in state regulation of virtual currencies, such as recent changes to money transmitter laws and the New York Department of Financial Services’ creation of a FinTech division that will assume responsibility for licensing entities under that state’s BitLicense Regulation
  3. Provide practical guidance on how different virtual currency business models can comply with federal and state laws, regulations, and rules

Credit Information

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Mark W. Rasmussen

Jones Day

Mark Rasmussen is a seasoned litigator and investigator with more than a dozen years of experience representing clients in complex commercial litigation, securities litigation, regulatory and internal investigations, and bankruptcy litigation. He also advises clients on regulatory compliance related to cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and blockchain technology and was recently appointed by Chief Judge Barbara Lynn, of the Northern District of Texas, to be the first ever receiver in an SEC enforcement action involving an ICO promoter. In addition, Mark is co-editor of the book Blockchain for Business Lawyers and is a frequent speaker on legal issues related to blockchain technology.

Mark regularly defends clients in shareholder and consumer class actions, derivative litigation, fiduciary duty claims, merger disputes, and contract disputes. In addition, while at a prior firm, he won a $22 million jury verdict (plus $5 million in punitive damages) on behalf of a technology start-up company in a trade secret case that received significant publicity. Mark also has substantial experience with SEC enforcement actions, DOJ investigations, and internal investigations involving allegations of accounting improprieties and false disclosures, conflicts of interest, FCPA violations, antitrust offenses, and other misconduct. His representations in these areas have included matters in the United States, Mexico, and Brazil.

Mark is also committed to pro bono service. Some of his matters include obtaining asylum for a monk and green cards for abused women under the Violence Against Women Act. He also helped an Hasidic Jewish inmate challenge prison rules under the First Amendment.

Eric A. Love

Jones Day

Eric Love represents financial institutions and multinational corporations in a wide variety of complex regulatory, compliance, enforcement, and litigation matters. He counsels clients on U.S. securities and commodities law compliance, with particular emphasis on broker-dealers, investment advisers, and private investment funds (such as hedge, private equity, venture capital, and real estate funds). As part of his practice, Eric also focuses on the dynamic and evolving areas of fintech, blockchain, and digital currencies, including the legal and regulatory issues facing money services businesses, payment systems, and emerging payments companies. He represents clients in connection with regulatory examinations and enforcement actions and advises financial institutions on litigation regarding securities, derivatives, and other financial products.

Prior to joining Jones Day, Eric was an associate at an international law firm in Washington, D.C. Before practicing law, he served as a special assistant at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and worked for the U.S. House of Representatives for six years in a number of positions, including as a senior legislative assistant for financial services.

Eric is active with pro bono matters and is currently representing clients in asylum proceedings. He also serves on the associate recruiting and diversity committees in the Firm's New York Office.


Stephen W.

A. true pleasure listening to someone so exceptionally knowledgable and comfortable before the camera.

Hannah A.

Great course! So informative and provided lots of good context for practice.

bianca h.

helpful overview thanks

Mark B.

Very thoughtful and helpful presentation.

Randy B.

The was a great course. Great job by the presenters.

Christopher B.

Nice introduction to a complex topic; thank you.

leonard g.

Excellent program.

Joseph C.

Excellent overview

Ann-Kathryn S.

Helped make complicated subject digestible

Thomas W.


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