Cryptocurrency license in USA

May 27, 2021
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In the United States, cryptocurrency exchanges have legal status and are governed by the provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act – BSA. In practical terms, this implies that cryptocurrency exchange service providers undertake to obtain the appropriate license from FINCEN, involve the AML/CFT program in their activities, keep the necessary records and send reports to the authorities. In addition, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also ruled that cryptocurrencies are now acquiring securities status and laws governing securities will apply to them. The provisions of these same laws will be comprehensively applied to digital wallets. This approach will affect both investors and exchanges. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) chose a friendlier path through which Bitcoin and Ethereum were recognized as commodities. Thus, cryptocurrency derivatives and other virtual goods were allowed to trade publicly on those exchanges that are regulated and controlled by the Commission.

In response to the guidelines published by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in 2019, FinCEN expressed its view that they expect cryptocurrency exchanges to fully comply with the accounting requirements and comply with the “Rules of Travel” through the exchange of data on recipients and senders of transactions with cryptocurrencies. States classify virtual coin exchanges in the same regulatory category as AML / CFT gatekeepers, money transfer services, and financial institutions.

What will be the future for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the US?

The US Treasury highlighted and emphasized the urgent need to introduce cryptography rules, which would help massively combat domestic and global criminal activity. In 2018, Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, announced that a new FSOC working group would be created to study the crowded cryptocurrency market. In 2020, FinCEN put forward new requirements regarding the collection of data from those persons who are responsible for managing the exchange of cryptocoins, DTL, digital assets, cryptocurrency payments and others. If the implementation of these requirements is practically implemented, then the exchanges will also be obliged to provide reports fixing suspicious activity. In addition, unregistered financial institutions and MSB wallet holders will have to identify themselves by sending more than $ 3,000 or through a series of related transactions.

The DOJ continues to work with and coordinate with the CFTC, SEC and other agencies to integrate future regulations for the use of cryptocurrencies to help ensure effective consumer protection and more appropriate and appropriate oversight. However, given that the Covid-19 crisis environment is hampering some active efforts to advance cryptocurrency regulation, the federal approach is still valid and focused.

Cryptocurrency exchanges and any organizations in any way related to crypto money must do the following:

  • register as Money Services Business;
  • obtain an appropriate license permit to carry out such activities;
  • promptly inform law enforcement officials about transactions that appear suspicious.

The taxation of cryptocurrencies, which equates to property tax, is regulated and monitored at the national level. The profit that a company earns in connection with cryptocurrency transactions is considered capital gains. As such, such profits are subject to withholding tax in accordance with the rules of the US Internal Revenue Service. Violation of the rules established for the exchange of cryptocurrencies and the placement of tokens is regarded by the SEC as a criminal act.

Features of getting cryptocurrency licenses in US

In the States, the regulatory bureau FinCEN is responsible for issuing cryptocurrency licenses. This institution issues licensing permits for the following activities:

  • verification of biographical data;
  • provision of prepaid access;
  • implementation of sales with prepaid access;
  • sale and issue of traveler’s checks;
  • making money transfers.

Cryptocurrency licenses in the United States are issued either state-by-state or nationally. If an organization wants to conduct large-scale activities throughout the United States, then it is more expedient to obtain a general permit. The fee for this is $ 176,226. Additionally, this has to pay an annual fee of $ 136,855.

If a company operates outside of the United States, then it is enough for it to obtain a license valid only in one of the states. Such a license grants the right to open the necessary bank accounts and carry out the corresponding types of planned activities. The amount of the state fee depends on each state. When choosing a state, a company should consider the following:

  • the size of the authorized capital for the company. This amount ranges from $ 1 thousand in Hawaii to $ 1 million in Pennsylvania;
  • whether this state provides licenses for cryptocurrencies in general. For example, Montana and South Carolina do not have such licenses;
  • the minimum capital required to develop and maintain business activities. Beneficiaries must have up to $ 1 thousand to $ 1 million in their corporate and personal accounts;

The size of the tax rate on profits received from operations related to cryptocurrencies, and so on.

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