Bitcoin-only accumulation platform Swan warned over the weekend that users involved with bitcoin mixing services may see their accounts terminated due to increased scrutiny from banks and custodians.
Swan’s banking and custodial partners “will no longer service clients who directly interact with bitcoin mixing services such as Wasabi, Samourai and similar services,” Swan said in a statement to users on Friday.
Depositing “directly to” or withdrawing “directly from” crypto mixing services could result in Swan’s banking and custody partners terminating the user’s account, the warning added.
Swan noted that banks and custodians have changed their policies based on new proposed rules from US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). If enacted, it would require regulated financial institutions to report transactions when there is reason to suspect involvement in transaction mixing.
“Mixing offers a critical service that allows players in the ransomware ecosystem, rogue state actors and other criminals to fund their unlawful activities and obfuscate the flow of ill-gotten gains,” FinCEN Director Andrea Gacki said in October when the proposal was released.
Read more: Security firms track FTX exploiter through Bitcoin mixer
Given the proposal, which Swan vehemently opposes, Swan chief technology officer and co-founder Yan Pritzker is unsurprised that the company’s financial institution partners have taken a stance against mixers.
“The current political climate has pushed a lot of fear into the banking sector, with most banks simply refusing to do business with anything in ‘crypto,’” Pritzker wrote on X.
“There is no way to process USD in the United States if you do not use a bank or Money Services Business…and all such Financial Institutions…are subject to rules and guidelines from FinCEN, [Financial Action Task Force], and other unelected bodies,” he added.
The warning comes amid an increasingly hostile US regulatory environment for crypto mixing services as agencies and lawmakers grow concerned about mixers’ ability to help illicit actors launder money.
Last month, a federal judge sided with the US Treasury after Coin Center and other crypto industry advocates sued the Department over its Tornado Cash sanctions.
Coin Center and its co-plaintiffs argued that the Treasury overstepped its boundaries by sanctioning mixing service Tornado Cash, which they say is simply computer code. The court dismissed the argument, asserting that the Treasury, under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, can sanction any entity in which a foreigner has an interest.
“The indirect interest that TORN holders (including the Tornado Cash founders, developers and DAO) have in the increased use and popularity of the Tornado Cash service as a whole is sufficient to establish that foreigners have an “interest” in the core software tool,” Judge Kent Wetherell wrote in the ruling.
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