Crypto Bank Anchorage Digital Broke Anti-Money Laundering Rules, Says Regulator

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Apr 22, 2022

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The firm has pledged to work to ensure compliance in the future.

Broke AML Rules

A federal regulator in the United States says that Anchorage Digital violated money laundering monitoring rules. It is the first federally-chartered bank for digital assets in the country.

In issuing a consent order, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) accused the bank of failing to adopt a compliance program that meets Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering requirements.

The Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu said in a statement:

“The OCC holds all nationally chartered banks to the same high standards, whether they engage in traditional or novel activities. When institutions fall short, we will take action and hold them accountable to ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations.”

Anchorage Digital received conditional approval for a national trust charter from the OCC early in 2021. It operates as a digital assets platform for big institutions, allowing its clients to trade cryptocurrency and stake assets to earn returns.

Cybercriminals laundered a record amount of cryptocurrencies in 2021, a report by blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis showed. However, while the figures rose by 30% compared to the previous year, they still paled in comparison to fiat currency money laundering.

Anchorage Digital now has 15 days to set up a committee to oversee its compliance with the regulations. A majority of the committee members will not be its employees.

According to the consent order, the bank has “begun corrective action and is committed to taking all necessary and appropriate steps to remedy the deficiencies identified by the OCC”.

In a statement, Anchorage Digital expressed its pride in being recognized as a traditional federally chartered bank. It committed to “strengthen the areas identified and will continue to bolster these areas”.

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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