By selecting a former blockchain analysis manager to head the agency, FinCEN has signaled that Bitcoin regulations are to be increased.
Michael Mosier, who headed the blockchain analysis company Chainalysis as Chief Technology Officer from June 2019 to February 2020, has been selected as the new acting director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
Mosier has held a number of financial oversight roles including advising the Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, Deputy Director and Digital Innovation Officer at FinCEN, Deputy Director of the U.S. Treasury Department for Foregin Assets Control, and Deputy Head of the Treasury Department for Money Laundering and Money Laundering Restoration of judicial assets. However, this recent transition from Chainalysis to FinCEN underscores the latter agency’s recent and likely ongoing focus on regulating blockchain-based digital assets.
Chainalysis is the world’s leading blockchain analysis company and offers services that, among other things, can track the origin and movement of Bitcoin. With the help of groups like Chainalysis, regulators can try to determine if Bitcoin has been used for purposes they believe are illegal. With the recent growth of assets like BTC and the increasing desire from regulators to monitor their usage, companies like Chainalysis are poised to grow. In fact, Chainalysis recently raised $ 100 million valued at over $ 2 billion.
In the meantime, FinCEN has signaled that it wants to regulate the use of decentralized assets like Bitcoin more strictly. In December 2020, a rule was proposed that requires KYC action when users withdraw Bitcoin in “self-hosted” wallets, for example. With new leadership from a proven blockchain analytics manager like Mosier, it is more than likely that the agency’s efforts to prevent the free and open use of Bitcoin will intensify.
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