The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is a federal bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury tasked with AML/CFT monitoring. FinCEN’s goal is to prevent and punish criminal networks that participate in financial crimes such as money laundering and terrorist financing.
The network is one of 166 international Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs) which make up the Egmont Group. All FIUs are responsible for cooperating amongst each other and disclosing information related to suspected financial crimes proceeds and potential terrorist financing.
Part of its mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate financial transaction data for law enforcement purposes as well as cooperate with counterpart agencies in other countries and with international bodies, such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
FinCEN carries out its duties under the Currency and Financial Transactions Reporting Act of 1970, the legislative framework of which is commonly referred to as the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).
FinCEN is known for its increasing regulation of cryptocurrencies since 2011, and is mandated to target money service businesses (MSBs) who violate the BSA’s laws. FinCEN has previously acted against Ripple Labs and individual MSBs like Eric Powers for crypto-related transgressions. In 2020, FinCEN controversially introduced its Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to regulate private wallet transactions to exchanges.