FinCEN hits Helix and Coin Ninja founder with USD 60 million civil monetary penalty

Tuesday 10 November 2020 12:26 CET | News

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has recently hit the founder and primary operator of both Helix and Coin Ninja with a USD 60 million civil monetary penalty.

Both companies served as ‘mixers’ or ‘tumblers’ for virtual currencies such as Bitcoin. A ‘mixer’ or ‘tumbler’ accepts currency and transmits it in a manner designed to prevent tracing the transmission back to its source.

The penalty follows Helix and Coin Ninja failings to maintain an effective AML program. For instance, Helix accepted Bitcoin from its customers and transmitted the virtual currency to recipients through a variety of means. Regulators alleged that this anonymising service was used for illicit activities and that Helix and Coin Ninja failed to conduct proper due diligence on its customers.

This is FinCEN’s first enforcement action against a mixer/tumbler for virtual currency. According to FinCEN guidance on virtual currencies published in May 2019, anonymising services for virtual currencies qualify as money transmitters under the BSA.

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Keywords: Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, FinCEN, virtual currency, Bitcoin, AML program, Bitcoin mixer, cryptocurrency
Categories: DeFi & Crypto & Web3
Countries: United States
This article is part of category

DeFi & Crypto & Web3