Coinbase Requests Crypto Rulemaking Timeout While FinCEN Extends Commenting Deadline

Coinbase asks FinCEN to pause last year’s rulemakings for cryptocurrency businesses. Shortly after, the agency officially extended the deadline for comments by another 45 days. 

Crypto Regulations to Wait

Major digital currency exchange Coinbase has sent a letter to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to hold up the planned crypto regulations. The US-based venue has asked the agency to respect recent Biden White House guidance.

It said that all agencies should pause their pending rulemakings, including FinCEN’s last decision to implement new cryptocurrency regulations and KYC practices.

The publication points out the memorandum instructions, saying that agencies should “immediately withdraw” their rulemaking, including the notice of open comment period, citing Biden’s office address:

“With respect to rules that have been sent to the OFR but not published in the Federal Register, immediately withdraw them from the OFR for review and approval” by “a department or agency head appointed or designated by” President Biden.”

President Biden’s newly appointed nominee for Secretary of the Department of Treasury, Janet Yellen, has also explicitly confirmed to Congress that FinCEN’s take on cryptocurrency regulations should wait until “a full substantial review” from the new administration.

“I am aware of the rules proposed by FinCEN in December 2020 regarding how certain digital assets are treated under the Bank Secrecy Act. I agree on the need to ensure adequate consultation with and input from stakeholders[.]

If confirmed, I intend to ensure a full and substantive review of the proposals, which will include an assessment of how to ensure proper input from stakeholders.”, the publication cites Dr. Janet Yellen.

Coinbase has recently asked for some more time on the upcoming FinCEN regulations. As CryptoPotato reported, the crypto exchange posted another open letter to the US financial authority in December. In it, they said that a 15-day period, including the holidays in the middle of a global pandemic, would not be enough for adequate reaction and comments.

Extending the Comment Time with Another 45 Days

FinCEN recently announced an extension of the comments period, which was previously set to January 4th, 2021. The new deadline came as a breath of fresh air to cryptocurrency companies, concerned with the future rulings.

However, Coinbase’s letter points out the fact that, despite the advice by Biden’s office, FinCEN still hasn’t closed the comment period. The address states that there are just days left for interested parties to comment on their recent decisions on cryptocurrencies.

According to Coinbase, FinCEN should officially close the open comment period on the proposed rulemaking. Thus, respecting the White House administration’s instructions and dodging any confusion.

The address also states that Coinbase would use the time given from the regulatory pause to engage directly with FinCEN on the highlighted crypto hot topics and assist in any industry or public meetings.

Shortly after Coinbase’s open letter, FinCEN announced it will extend the reopened comment period for the proposed rulemaking on given digital asset transactions by additional 45 days. According to the publication, the US authority affirms that it has submitted for publication in the Federal Register an Extension Notice, which will lengthen the timeframe so that institutions could react accordingly.

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