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Poly Network Suffers Largest Crypto Hack Ever Recorded

Standoff between Poly Network and Hacker over keys to multisig wallet Aug 18 Update: In an August 17 Medium article, the Poly Network team announced that they had offered the hacker, whom they refer to as “Mr. White Hat,” the position of Chief Security Officer along with a $500,000 bounty for identifying the exploit. In… Read more

Analysis: Proposed FATF Guidance for Virtual Assets and VASPs

On March 19, 2021, global anti-money laundering watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released a public consultation for its updated Draft Guidance on a Risk-Based Approach to Virtual Assets and Virtual Asset Service Providers. Key changes in the draft guidance include: DEXs and crypto escrow services are considered Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) Stablecoins… Read more

$220M in Bitcoin May Be Encrypted Forever on IronKey

Stefan Thomas is two failed password attempts away from losing the private keys to $220 million worth of bitcoin forever. This is because Thomas holds the private keys to his bitcoin wallet in an IronKey. “The World’s Most Secure Flash Drive” would rather die than give up its secrets, thanks to a series of built-in…

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What Exactly is a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP)?

Cryptocurrency, digital asset, convertible virtual currency… there seems to be an endless list of terms for the same concept. If that wasn’t enough, a cryptocurrency exchange can also be referred to as a Virtual Asset Service Provider(VASP), Virtual Asset Entity, Digital Asset Customer (DACs), Money Service Business (MSB), or any other series of classifications depending…

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FinCEN Proposed Rule Change for Unhosted CVC Wallets

FinCEN Takes a Measured Approach to Money Laundering Risks Posed by Unhosted CVC Wallets On December 18, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released a proposed rule change for virtual currency transactions with unhosted wallets. Under the proposed change, banks and money services businesses (MSBs) would be required to verify the identity of their customer… Read more

CipherTrace Feedback on Docket No. FINCEN-2020-0002 ; RIN 1506-AB41

November 25, 2020 Via Email to: [email protected] Re: FinCEN Docket Number FINCEN–2020– 0002; RIN number 1506–AB41 CipherTrace welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”)’s proposed rule change regarding the “Threshold for the Requirement To Collect, Retain, and Transmit Information on Funds Transfers and Transmittals of Funds That Begin or End…

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FinCEN’s Proposed Rule Change for Travel Rule Threshold Would More Than Double Compliance Events at US VASPs

This blog is an excerpt from the upcoming CipherTrace 2020 Cryptocurrency Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Report In October 2020 FinCEN released a proposed rule change, lowering the threshold for travel rule information sharing and retention from $3,000 to $250 for all cross-border payments involving US financial institutions The proposed new rule will definitely apply to…

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FATF Releases Virtual Assets Red Flag Indicators of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing 

On Monday, September 14, 2020, FATF released a report on Virtual Assets Red Flag Indicators. This report is meant to assist reporting entities, including financial institutions (FIs), designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBPs), and VASPs. The red flag indicators are an excellent start and are mostly focused on indicators of money laundering for VASPs.  The… Read more

Best Practices for Monitoring Virtual Currency-Related Transactions at Your Bank

Existing FinCEN regulations clearly state that it is the responsibility of all financial institutions to identify and report suspicious activity concerning how criminals and other bad actors exploit CVCs for money laundering, sanctions evasion, and other illicit financing purposes. These requirements apply to all financial institutions, even if those financial institutions do not directly buy,… Read more

How Impending Virtual Asset Regulations Impact Banks—Even Those That Don’t Think They Do Crypto

As more mainstream consumer and institutional investors embrace cryptocurrencies, it becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for traditional financial institutions to avoid entanglements with the crypto economy. For example, banks face significant counter-party transaction risks from customers interacting with high-risk crypto exchanges—especially when a bank is unable to identify these transactions as to or from…

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