FinCEN caves to public pressure, extends the comment period for its dangerous cryptocurrency surveillance proposal

Posted January 14, 2021, 9:08 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 14th, 2021

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press@fightforthefuture.org

Digital rights group Fight for the Future now calls for the incoming Biden-Harris Administration to reject the Trump Administration’s last-ditch effort to expand financial surveillance

After weeks of negative publicity and thousands of comments from privacy advocates and cryptocurrency users, FinCEN has extended the open comment period for a controversial rule change. If passed, this new surveillance regulation would not only require financial institutions to collect, store, and transmit information about cryptocurrency users to the federal government, but it would also provide the government with the means to track every single transaction cryptocurrency users have ever made on public blockchains. 

"Cryptocurrency users won’t let the government bully them into accepting invasive financial surveillance," said Dayton Young, Product Director at Fight for the Future, (pronouns he/him). "FinCEN’s clumsy attempt at midnight rulemaking has backfired, and the public has forced them to delay their decision until the Biden-Harris Administration takes office. So now we’re calling on the Biden-Harris Administration to listen to the public and reject the previous administration’s assault on our privacy rights. We need more than just a change in leadership at the Treasury; we need a change in values and ideology if we hope to stop financial surveillance."

According to FinCEN’s statement, the public will have an additional 15 days to comment on sections of the rule involving cryptocurrency transactions over $10,000, and 45 more days to comment on recordkeeping and counterparty reporting requirements. These extended comment periods will begin when the updated proposal is published on January 15th, 2021.

Fight for the Future has created a website, StopFinancialSurveillance.com, which makes it easy for members of the public to file a comment with FinCEN on this dangerous new rule. The website also provides a breakdown of the rule and its wide-ranging implications on cryptocurrencies and privacy rights. Anyone and everyone who is concerned about the government intruding on financial freedom is encouraged to visit StopFinancialSurveillance.com and file a comment.