The U.S. Treasury Department has designated cryptocurrency "mixers" as major hubs for money laundering. They have proposed new regulations that would require domestic financial institutions and agencies to implement recordkeeping and reporting requirements for transactions involving crypto mixers. The Treasury Department believes that an increasing percentage of transactions processed by these mixers are originating from illicit sources. This proposal is part of a broader effort to shape the future of the crypto ecosystem and comes in response to pressure from Capitol Hill regarding the role of cryptocurrencies in financing militant groups. The proposed rules would require financial institutions to collect and report specific information related to international mixer transactions. The Treasury Department could use its sanction authority to cut off targets from U.S. markets. While mixers represent only a small portion of the cryptocurrency market, this regulation sends a warning to other crypto platforms. The Treasury Department justifies its action by emphasizing the money laundering and national security risks associated with these activities. Experts believe that these regulations could have a chilling effect on certain crypto activities by further associating them with terrorist financing and money laundering. This move is not surprising, as U.S. authorities have been targeting crypto platforms that provide anonymity services or have weak compliance systems in recent years. Several platforms have already faced sanctions and charges for facilitating money laundering.
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