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NFTs Should Fall Under Anti-Money Laundering Law, DOJ Says – Coin24h.com

NFTs Should Fall Under Anti-Money Laundering Law, DOJ Says – Coin24h.com

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Attorney General Merrick Garland wants to extend the Bank Secrecy Act to non-fungible tokens to prevent money laundering.

In a report to President Joe Biden earlier this month, the US Department of Justice warned that NFT players can use digital assets for illicit financing through “self-laundering, a sequence in which criminals buy an NFT with illicit funds and then resell it to a buyer who pays for it with clean funds unrelated to to a previous crime.”

The report states that the application of the law “is often affected by whether the object of the trade is ‘value that replaces currency’”, but “NFT platforms may consider that this definition does not apply to their operations – and that they are therefore not covered” the law’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing requirements, and many platforms fail to properly implement “know-your-customer” systems in markets where assets can change hands very quickly, it noted.

Sales of non-fungible tokens, unique digital art and collectibles stored on blockchains took off during last year’s crypto boom. They have cooled off sharply this year as Crypto Winter set in. NFT prices have sometimes seemed out of whack, with crude cartoons selling for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. This creates conditions where bad actors, such as drug dealers, can launder money, an official with the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Division said in January.

The Department of Justice said it supports changing the law to clarify that key obligations – including know-your-customer and suspicious transaction reporting – apply to platforms dealing with NFTs, including online auction houses and art galleries.

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