The federal agency charged with enforcing the nation's laws against money laundering has issued new guidelines suggesting that several parties in the Bitcoin economy qualify as Money Services Businesses under US law. MSBs must register with the federal government, collect information about their customers, and take steps to combat money laundering by their customers. The new guidelines do not mention Bitcoin by name, but there's little doubt which "de-centralized virtual currency" the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) had in mind when it drafted the new guidelines. A FinCEN spokesman told Bank Technology News last year that "we are aware of Bitcoin and other similar operations, and we are studying the mechanism behind Bitcoin."
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