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Crypto just another payment method, says FinCEN’s Michele Korver

While critics have argued about crypto’s potential use in criminal activities, Michele Korver ultimately views digital currencies as just another means of payment.

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

Mon, 02 Aug 2021, 04:37 am UTC

Critics have argued about crypto’s potential use in criminal activities such as money laundering. However, the recently appointed chief digital currency advisor for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) views digital currencies as just another means of payment.

In an interview with Law360, FinCEN digital currency advisor Michele Korver said that crypto is “just another means of payment or value transfer that's developed over time, just like any financial technology,” according to Cointelegraph. Before her appointment to her current FinCEN post at the start of July this year, Korver was previously the digital currency counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice before her appointment to her current FinCEN post.

Korver described digital currencies as a result of the natural evolution of financial technologies. And just like any other form of payment such as cash, she explained that it is inevitable that criminals will try to use crypto in their operations.

“Financial technologies evolve over time and the innovation of money payments and value transfer will continue,” Korver explained. “The criminal use of the financial ecosystem will always exist too.” She added.”

Korver has experience in going after criminals that use cryptos in their activities. For instance, she was instrumental in bringing down ItalianMafiaBrussels, a drug trafficking organization that uses Bitcoin.

“Personally, I've worked in this space for a long time, and I think these emerging technologies are cool and interesting,” she said. As the bureau’s chief digital currency advisor, Korver will be closely working with FinCEN acting director Michael Mosier and deputy director AnnaLou Tirol to come up with strategies on how to prevent illicit financial activities involving digital currencies.

“For me specifically, I'll be assisting FinCEN with its responsibilities for enforcing the Bank Secrecy Act as it relates to [Convertible Virtual Currency], digital currencies, and blockchain technologies,” Korver explained. “That includes ensuring compliance among those who provide financial services involving crypto or who serve as financial gatekeepers of these types of products and activities.”

FinCEN is a bureau under the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It is tasked with collecting and analyzing financial data to help the government fight against money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes.

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