U.S. FinCEN Appoints Former Chainalysis Executive as New Acting Director

The United States’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network declared a prominent leadership change on Friday as director Kenneth A. Blanco is stepping down. Michael Mosier will take over as the new acting director. Blanco will bid farewell on April 9, and Mosier, an ex-FinCEN Deputy Director, will take the position on April 11. Moreover, Mosier is taking over the financial crimes agency charges from his recent role as a Deputy Secretary of the Treasury counselor, which he secured last month. 

Nevertheless, his most exciting tenure was at Chainalysis, a blockchain analytics firm, where he acted as the chief technical counsel. He joined FinCEN in February 2020, following in nine-month long-role at the NY-based blockchain company. Additionally, Mosier was engaged with public offices through most of his career. Earlier, he was an associate director at Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. He also acted as a deputy chief in the DOJ’s (Department of Justice’s) money laundering and asset recovery section. Furthermore, Mosier also worked as the director for transnational organized crime at the White House National Security Council.

Intricate Details about the Responsibilities of U.S. FinCEN

The U.S. FinCEN functions to track and avoid financial crimes. The financial crimes involve money laundering, terrorist financing (AML/CFT), etc. It also plays a fundamental role in keeping crypto’s bad actors in line, though some of its decisions have intensified privacy purists. Moreover, current FinCEN initiatives include KYC’s proposals (know your customer) data collection and enhanced reporting for crypto holdings.

Michael Mosier’s FinCEN role could be essential for the blockchain industry as the agency is seeking to inflict stringent rules on blockchain-powered transactions. Previously, FinCEN introduced strict know-your-customer rules on crypto firms that will terminate the anonymity of crypto transactions. With Mosier appointed as the director, these laws on crypto might get prioritized. Nevertheless, we await to see if he will adopt the lenient approach to the industry or levy stringent rules.  However, this is not the first crypto-based hire by a government agency. Earlier, President Biden appointed Gary Gensler as chairman of the U.S. SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). Gensler is an expert in the crypto industry as he taught an in-depth course about crypto at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in 2018. Furthermore, besides Mosier, FinCEN also chose AnnaLou Tirol, a former associate director of FinCEN’s Strategic Operations Division, as the deputy director.