Request for Administrative Ruling on the Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to a Virtual Currency Trading Platform Summary

Updated 12/27/2021

This tool summarizes FinCEN’s ruling regarding a company that will set up a trading system platform. Customers will fund their own account with legal tender and place orders for virtual currency with the company. The company will then attempt to match the customer with a seller of virtual currency. The following are the key takeaways of the ruling:

1. As part of the analysis of whether a person is a money services business (MSB), you must identify the role the person is playing: (1) exchanger, (2) administrator; or (3) user.

2. FinCEN’s guidance issued on a product or service under a specific set of facts and circumstances may only be relied upon when another product or service shares the same set of facts and circumstances.

3. Conditionality of an exchange does not disqualify it from being considered “money transmission.”

4. A person that accepts currency or convertible virtual currency (CVC), with the intent and/or effect of transmitting currency or CVC to another person or location if a certain predetermined condition established by the transmitter is met, is a money transmitter under FinCEN’s regulations.

5. The method of funding a transaction is immaterial to the definition of money transmitter.

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