Bulletins

A key regulator says Anchorage broke rules for monitoring money laundering

The crypto custodian is taking “corrective action.”

 Anchorage co-founders Nathan McCauley and Diogo Monica

The OCC said Anchorage violated rules for monitoring money-laundering.

Photo: Anchorage

A key federal regulator said Anchorage Digital, the first federally-chartered digital asset bank, violated rules for monitoring money laundering.


The crypto company, which helps institutions buy, store and manage their digital assets, “failed to adopt and implement” required measures “for monitoring suspicious activity,” the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Thursday.

“When institutions fall short, we will take action and hold them accountable to ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations,” acting OCC head Michael Hsu said in a statement.

The action is not expected to have an impact on Anchorage’s operations. The OCC noted that the company has “begun corrective action” to comply with anti-money laundering monitoring regulations. In a statement, Anchorage said it is “working to strengthen the areas identified” by the OCC.

Anchorage is considered a trailblazer in the crypto industry as a provider of digital assets custody and management services. The company got conditional approval for a national trust charter from the OCC in January 2021.

In July 2021, the U.S. Marshals Service signed a deal with Anchorage to help the law enforcement agency store and manage digital assets seized from criminal organizations and individuals.

Anchorage helped Visa buy CryptoPunk #7610, the payments giant's first NFT purchase.

But the OCC order underscores the heightened focus on anti-money laundering and KYC measures embraced by crypto companies.

In February, a group of crypto companies, including Circle and Coinbase, introduced Verite, a new identity verification protocol for blockchain. Crypto companies also unveiled a new system to help members comply with the Treasury Department’s Travel Rule, which requires information about big financial transactions to “travel” with the movement of funds.
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