AML and Cryptocurrency: Understanding Anti-Money Laundering Regulations in the Crypto Landscape

The rise of cryptocurrencies has sparked a revolution in the financial world, changing the way transactions occur and value is transferred. However, this revolutionary technology has also presented new challenges for regulators worldwide, especially in combating illicit activities like money laundering. This article sheds light on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) as it pertains to cryptocurrencies, offering insights into federal law and the laws of the State of Missouri.

What is AML in Cryptocurrency?

Anti-Money Laundering (AML) refers to a set of procedures, laws, and regulations designed to prevent the practice of generating income through illegal actions, specifically, money laundering. In the context of cryptocurrency, AML procedures are used to prevent criminals from using cryptocurrencies to obscure the origins of illegally obtained money, making it appear as though the funds were obtained legally.

Federal AML Regulation in Cryptocurrency

At the federal level, several bodies regulate cryptocurrencies to prevent money laundering:

- The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN): As an agency of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, FinCEN plays a significant role in AML regulation, focusing on the prevention and punishment of money laundering. Cryptocurrency exchanges and other businesses dealing with cryptocurrencies are required to comply with FinCEN's AML requirements, which include maintaining records, reporting, and conducting due diligence on customers.

- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS): The IRS treats cryptocurrencies as property for tax purposes, meaning that AML regulations also apply to cryptocurrency transactions. These regulations require detailed record-keeping, transparent reporting of capital gains or losses, and payment of taxes owed.

- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC): Both the SEC and CFTC enforce AML regulations for firms under their jurisdictions dealing with cryptocurrencies. This involves stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) and AML procedures.

Missouri State AML Regulation in Cryptocurrency

In Missouri, while there are no specific laws concerning AML and cryptocurrency, existing financial and securities laws apply. These regulations are designed to protect consumers, ensure the integrity of markets, and prevent financial crimes, including money laundering. Crypto-businesses operating in Missouri must comply with these regulations and implement robust AML and KYC procedures.

Navigating AML Regulation in Cryptocurrency

The AML regulatory landscape for cryptocurrency is complex and continually evolving. Understanding these regulations and maintaining compliance is vital for businesses operating in the cryptocurrency space. Moreover, individuals using cryptocurrencies should also be aware of these regulations to ensure their activities remain within legal boundaries.


As cryptocurrencies continue to rise in popularity, understanding the AML regulations that govern them is crucial. While complex, these regulations play a vital role in ensuring the integrity and stability of markets, protecting consumers, and preventing financial crimes. Individuals and businesses involved in cryptocurrency should strive to understand and comply with these regulations to safeguard their interests and maintain the health and reputation of the cryptocurrency industry.