Search on TFTC
Coin Center Challenges DOJ's Revised Policy on Bitcoin Wallets

Coin Center Challenges DOJ's Revised Policy on Bitcoin Wallets

Apr 29, 2024

Coin Center Challenges DOJ's Revised Policy on Bitcoin Wallets

In a recent blog post by Coin Center, a significant shift in U.S. Bitcoin policy has been highlighted, with the Department of Justice (DOJ) sparking controversy by charging non-custodial wallet developers with unlicensed money transmission. This move contradicts the long-standing U.S. policy that has been in place since 2013, which clearly states that wallet developers and users are not considered money transmitters.

Coin Center

The blog post outlines two cases that illustrate this sudden change in enforcement by federal prosecutors: the indictment of the developers behind Samourai Wallet unsealed on April 26th, and the DOJ's opposition to motions in the Tornado Cash case filed on the same day. Additionally, the FBI has issued a warning to wallet users about the risk of losing funds to criminal seizures if they do not transfer them to a regulated entity.

Coin Center's analysis emphasizes that this development undermines the rule of law, due process rights, and fundamental freedoms of speech and privacy. They argue that the recent DOJ actions represent an alarming departure from established policy and could be seen as "regulation by criminal enforcement."

The blog provides a comprehensive review of the existing money transmission policy under U.S. anti-money laundering statutes, particularly the Bank Secrecy Act, and its regulations, which do not classify non-custodial Bitcoin developers as money transmitters. It also references FinCEN's guidance from 2013 and subsequent administrative rulings supporting this interpretation.

Furthermore, the FBI alert is seen as problematic in the context of the DOJ's position, potentially threatening Americans who keep their Bitcoin off regulated exchanges with the seizure of their assets.

Coin Center asserts its commitment to continue defending the technological and legal understanding of Bitcoin in court and engaging with Congress to ensure they are aware of this shift in policy enforcement. They vow to remain vigilant against further regulatory overreach.

The sudden DOJ charges against non-custodial wallet developers have raised serious concerns about the future of Bitcoin regulation in the U.S., challenging established policy and potentially impacting the rights of developers and users alike.

Coin Center Blog Post


Current Block Height

Current Mempool Size

Current Difficulty