DOJ Releases Guidelines for Crypto Law Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Justice and AG William Barr have released guidelines for enforcing crypto laws.  The recent release underscores the government’s serious warning to businesses to ensure they are complying with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements under the BSA and other relevant laws.


From the perspective of GDCA, this type of news is welcome since it shows the government is responding to the risks and threats posed by the bad actors in the industry.

It also points out in numerous ways how the GDCA can serve an important role in helping government regulators who are strapped for resources.  How?  So far, the only regulation is in the form of white papers, reports, indictments and subpoenas.  However, for many reasons the legislative or regulatory wherewithal to see through a comprehensive regulatory framework is stalled or at best a work in progress – and this is the case across all first world economies, not just the U.S.

A healthy robust industry needs much more structure and framework to thrive.  The GDCA can step in and help fill in the details by providing:

  • Standards and best practices that address particular detailed functions and areas of the business, e.g. transactional methodology, risk management requirements, AML guidelines, audit standards, etc.
  • Advocacy on behalf of the industry – we’re not scowling bad guys and gals in mugshots flaunting legal standards of the western world from Vanuatu!  We’re serious business people who believe that a healthy industry requires a robust set of rules and enforcement of those rules – and those rules should foster efficiency and fairness and should be developed through industry consensus working in a democratic committee structure
  • Education: of legislators and rule makers, industry participants, and the public about the facets of the industry, the public good of the industry, and the intent of the industry’s participants to be good actors; and finally
  • Expert and efficient commercial dispute resolution (this is the way to enforce our rules without a legislative mandate)

View our Regulation Resources for additional white papers and intelligence surrounding cryptocurrency rules and regulation.

About the Author:

Matt Lisle is General Counsel, CAO of DrawBridge Lending / DBL Digital. A seasoned financial industry veteran with a J.D. from Loyola University School of Law and a BA from Colgate University, Matt has 23 years’ experience as an attorney and compliance officer in the commodity futures industry, including 5 years as chief Compliance Officer for ABN AMRO Clearing. Mr. Lisle holds a Series 3 Registration.