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FinCEN Names Former Chainalysis Advisor Acting Director as Blanco Resigns

Governments are becoming increasingly interested in crypto transaction surveillance, as FinCEN's hire suggests.

Apr 2, 2021 at 3:06 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:35 p.m. UTC

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) just hired Chainalysis’ former chief technical counsel as its new acting director, a hire that reflects the federal government’s increased interest in the growing cryptocurrency sector.

Michael Mosier will assume the post on April 11 following the departure of current Director Kenneth A. Blanco, who announced his resignation.

Blanco's tenure at FinCEN was marked by his stance that the burgeoning crypto industry is subject to existing regulations and as such does not require its own legal framework.

Most recently, Mosier served as counselor to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, a job he took on last month after having served as FinCEN’s deputy director and first Digital Innovation Officer.

Michael Mosier will leave FinCEN for a new opportunity.

Joining Mosier is AnnaLou Tirol, the former associate director of FinCEN’s Strategic Operations Division, who will now serve as FinCEN's deputy director.

Before his stint as a deputy secretary and his new job at FinCEN, Mosier was the chief technical counsel at blockchain surveillance firm Chainalysis. Mosier held the position from June 2019 until February 2020 when he joined FinCEN. FinCEN, a bureau of the U.S. Treasury, serves as the U.S. financial intelligence unit. 

Established in 2014, Chainalysis uses public blockchain data to trace and reveal details of cryptocurrency transactions for law enforcement agencies, private companies and government agencies. The company’s software has been used by public and private entities to trace exchange hacks and pinpoint illicit transactions. With the new bull market in cryptocurrencies, Chainalysis and its products have found favor with U.S. federal and state agencies.

Updated Thursday, May 6, 2021, 21:45 UTC: A previous version of this article stated that Mosier was the former CTO of Chainalysis; this is incorrect, and the article has been updated to reflect that he served as chief technical counsel to the surveillance company.

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