On March 18 2013, in response to growing uncertainty and gray areas on what constitutes an MSB and/or money transmitter, FinCEN issued their guidance Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies, to clarify how persons or businesses involved with “exchanging, accepting and transmitting” virtual currencies should be treated. New guidelines issued earlier today by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) indicate that decentralized applications also known as Dapps may qualify as money transmitters under the U.S. law in certain circumstances. It appears FinCEN doesn’t quite accurately grasp the fact that a DEX is a type of DApp. In the document, the financial crimes watchdog says DApps can qualify as money transmitters, if: the DApp performs money transmission, the definition of money transmitter will apply to the DApp, the owners/operators of the DApp, or both. “[B]ecause we are technology neutral … it should be understood that transactions in stablecoins, like any other value that substitutes for currency, are covered by our definition of ‘money transmission services.’ This means that accepting and transmitting activity denominated in stablecoins makes you a money transmitter under the BSA. It does not matter if the stablecoin is backed by a ... "Accordingly, when DApps perform money transmission, the definition of money transmitter will apply to the DApp, the owners/operators of the DApp, or both," according to FinCEN. This means these ... “Accordingly, when DApps perform money transmission, the definition of money transmitter will apply to the DApp, the owners/operators of the DApp, or both.” In simpler terms, any DApp involving money transmission will be subjected to BSA regulations. Last month, FinCEN took action against Eric Powers and fined him for $35,000.
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