FinCEN Issues Two Rulings Concerning Virtual Currencies.

On January 30th, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network published two administrative rulings concerning whether a person's conduct related to convertible virtual currency brings them within the Bank Secrecy Act's definition of a money transmitter. The first ruling states that, to the extent a user creates or "mines" a convertible virtual currency solely for a user's own purposes, the user is not a money transmitter under the BSA. The second states that a company purchasing and selling convertible virtual currency as an investment exclusively for the company's benefit is not a money transmitter. FinCEN Press Release. 

Treasury Department Official Defends Asset Management Study.

On January 29th, Reuters summarized the testimony of Richard Berner, Director of the Treasury Department's Office of Financial Research, before the Senate subcommittee on economic policy. Berner defended his office's report on asset managers saying that the report was meant to highlight the risks in the industry, not spark additional regulation. Testimony. See also Berner Prepared Remarks.

CFPB Consumer Advisory on Data Breaches.

On January 27th, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau published a consumer advisory to help consumers protect themselves in the wake of recent security breaches of payment card and other data. The advisory also contains information on where to get help if consumers suspect their information has been compromised. CFPB Press Release.