Crypto advocates are coming out in droves to respond to a proposed rule change that would mandate mass surveillance of large cryptocurrency transactions.
The proposed rule from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a division of the US Treasury department, would require crypto institutions to report the personal details of anyone who moves $10,000 or more in cryptocurrency to a private wallet. It would also require companies to keep detailed records of all transactions sent to a private wallet that are worth $3,000 or more.
FinCEN allowed 15 days for the public to respond to its plan, which is shorter than the 60 days that’s typically allotted. But despite the short window, a whopping 65,617 comments have been submitted as the comment period comes to a close.
Compound general counsel Jake Chervinsky says he believes the agency will have trouble sorting through all the responses before the rule is set to take effect.
“The FinCEN public comments that I’ve seen today… it’s seriously crazy, you guys. There are so many of them. They’re so detailed. They make such good arguments.
There are so many of them. No way FinCEN can legitimately work through all of this before January 20th. No way.”
About 6,800 of the comments can currently be viewed by the public on the Regulations.gov website.
A number of large companies in the crypto space including Square, Coinbase, Kraken and Circle have come out against the proposed regulations.
Square says the mass storage of personal details will ultimately do little to help regulators and could place sensitive information of law-abiding citizens in danger.
“The Bitcoin regulations proposed by FinCEN give few useful powers to regulators, greatly roll back economic freedoms while pointlessly surveilling law-abiding people, and create databases of info about who owns how much bitcoin that are easy to steal and therefore dangerous.”
Crypto advocacy groups including Coin Center, Blockchain Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Fight for the Future recently hosted a Reddit ask-me-anything that may have triggered a rise in responses to the proposal.
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