Crypto advocacy group Coin Heart has criticized the most recent indictment of two former Twister Money builders, arguing that the info supplied do not present any clear violations of money-transmitting-related offenses.
Roman Storm and Roman Semenov had been indicted by america Workplace of International Asset Management on Aug. 23 for conspiring to function an unlicensed money-transmitting business, amongst different prices.
In a follow-up opinion piece, Coin Heart analysis director Peter Van Valkenburgh argues that the claims within the indictment seem to run counter to steering from america Monetary Crimes Enforcement Community — arguing that Twister Money solely gives the software program to transmit cash reasonably than transmitting the cash itself.
New Twister Money indictments appear to run counter to FinCEN steering
Coin Heart’s preliminary ideas on a case that might probably criminalize the publication of software program codehttps://t.co/YCBv3vsZAE
— Neeraj Okay Agrawal (@NeerajKA) August 23, 2023
“The one factor the indictment claims concerning the defendants’ unlicensed cash transmission is that they ‘engaged within the enterprise of transferring funds on behalf of the general public’ and did so with out registering with FinCEN,” wrote Valkenburgh.
However does the indictment state any info that truly present that the defendants engaged in any actions that qualify as cash transmission below the related regulation?
He pointed to an interpretation by FinCEN as to what constitutes “cash transmission providers” below the U.S. Financial institution Secrecy Act, which states:
“An anonymizing software program supplier isn’t a money transmitter.”
Valkenburgh then referred to a different excerpt stating that solely folks utilizing the software program could be thought-about cash transmitters:
“[A] person who makes use of the software program to anonymize the particular person’s personal transactions might be both a consumer or a cash transmitter, relying on the aim of every transaction.”
Whereas Valkenburgh mentioned that Twister Money made it simpler for people to make use of the protocol’s good contracts to transmit cash, he argued it doesn’t imply that the builders had been cash transmitters themselves.
“[But] that doesn’t in some way imply that they grew to become transmitters merely as a result of they supplied instruments that others used to transmit their very own cash,” Valkenburgh defined.
Valkenburgh additionally criticized claims within the indictment suggesting that Storm and Semenov had full management over the protocol’s good contracts.
“Ethereum good contracts are variable and typically folks don’t have any management over their operation, some management, or complete management. That is the important thing reality wanted to find out whether or not one is performing cash transmission,” he argued.
Coin Heart first voiced its opposition towards the U.S. Treasury in October when it sued the company for its unprecedented and unlawful sanctioning of Twister Money.
The OFAC indictment claims Storm and Semenov ran an unlicensed money transmission service by partaking within the enterprise of transferring funds on behalf of the general public. The enforcement company claimed the builders ought to have registered with FinCEN.
Semenov was added to OFAC’s listing of Specifically Designated Nationals and Blocked Individuals on Aug. 23, whereas Storm was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington state on the identical day.
Valkenburgh believes the end result of the Twister Money saga could have a profound influence on the authorized rights of United States residents to construct and publish software program sooner or later.