US Congress Wants FinCEN to Study Blockchain Technology


The United States Congress has passed a bill calling for FinCEN to study how blockchain technology can be deployed in fighting against financial crime.

The article was updated on 01 January, 2020 by Amicus.

25 September, 2019, | AtoZ Markets – Congress wants the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to up its internal blockchain game with a new bill. It wants to study how the technology could be adapted for law enforcement.

FinCEN to Use Blockchain Technology in Fighting Financial Crime

The House of Representatives passed a bill on 19 September. It was for the financial crimes regulator to study its use of “innovative technologies” — including blockchain. However, the bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

The “Advancing Innovation to Assist Law Enforcement Act” mandates that FinCEN’s director consider how blockchain and other tech advances can improve the bureau’s operations. The bill reads:

“The Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) shall carry out a study on […] whether AI, digital identity technologies, blockchain technologies, and other innovative technologies. That can be further leveraged to make FinCEN’s data analysis more efficient and effective,”.

Representative Anthony Gonzalez, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced the bill back 9 May. A high-tech means to combat financial crimes. He also said:

“My bill makes sure that we are using the best technology we have available to find and stop the money laundering. That makes all these crimes not only possible, but financially profitable for cartels, traffickers, and terrorists.”

Gonzalez’ act pushes FinCEN towards a technology whose best-known manifestation — cryptocurrencies — has largely been its to regulate. Also, the Treasury Department bureau’s interpretive guides and letters on matters from AML compliance to ICO rules inform industry players. If signed into law, FinCEN may have to jump in.

Use of Blockchain Technology Long Overdue

Gerard Daché, executive director at the Government Blockchain Association, which promotes blockchain technology solutions to government, called the advance long overdue. Daché said, the government often plays catch-up to “bad guys.” And their blockchain tools wasting time, energy and money on antiquated techniques while the enemy races ahead. He also said:

“It almost like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand”.

Government bureaus such as FinCEN need to study how they will use these tools. And then they have to integrate them into their own arsenal, he said:

“When bad actors engage with it, we’ve got to meet them on the battlefield of technology.”

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