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26 Jan 2021

FinCEN extends comment period for proposed crypto wallet rule for 60 days

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has extended the comment period for its recent proposed rule on virtual currency transactions.

The comment period will last 60 days after the extension notice hits the Federal Register, which is planned for Jan. 28.

The proposed rule plans to impose higher know-your-customer standards and reporting to crypto transactions, including those performed with self-hosted wallets. Initially, FinCEN released the notice in late December and left only 15 days over the holiday period to submit comments. This shorter-than-normal comment period set off a race to submit, with many stakeholders and even members of Congress expressing dissatisfaction with the shortened comment period.

There was also confusion over when the deadline would take effect, since many industry players believed the deadline to be Jan. 4, counting 15 days from the release of the proposed rule rather than the date it hit the register. The rule itself stated the deadline as Jan. 4 and FinCEN did not update the text of the notice, although it did update the deadline on the portal for submission on Jan. 4.

The regulator did not publicize the change or respond to requests for comment on the date change. Still, industry players managed to lodge over 7,500 comments in the shortened period. After, FinCEN reopened the comment period on Jan. 14, giving stakeholders an additional 15 days to submit.

With the new extension, stakeholders should have until March 29 to lodge additional comments.


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