Over the last few weeks, the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, has been inundated with 7,477 angry comments about a rule change that it proposed just before Christmas. “Impressive ineptitude” says one anonymous commenter, while another writes “touch bitcoin and you will feel the wrath u moneygrabbing pric [sic].”
What’s at stake? Up till now, exchanges like Coinbase haven’t bothered to de-anonymize the non-custodial wallet owners that either send cryptocurrency to exchanges or receive cryptocurrency from exchanges. In effect, if you had a few thousand dollars in bitcoins in a paper wallet, Coinbase wouldn’t ID you if you transferred those bitcoins to a Coinbase account.
FinCEN – a bureau of the US Department of the Treasury that defines rules for combating money laundering – has proposed changing this. U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges and other financial institutions