Digital image of bar charts and graphs

A trio of top U.S. regulators has issued guidance on complying with anti-money laundering (AML) and terrorist financing requirements for firms involved in trading digital assets.

In a joint statement, the heads of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), stressed that players in the emerging digital asset sector face AML obligations.

The regulators said that, regardless of the terminology or technology used, the facts underlying an asset, activity or service determine how it’s categorized under U.S. law and regulations.

“The nature of the digital asset-related activities a person engages in is a key factor in determining whether and how that person must register with the CFTC, FinCEN, or the SEC,” they said.

They also noted that obligations to develop an AML program and to report suspicious activity “apply very broadly” and aren’t dictated by whether a particular transaction involves a security or a commodity.