FinCEN Requires Real Estate Purchases Using Crypto Assets and Virtual Currencies to be Reported
In a blog post released on November 15, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced the issuance of revised Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs). These GTOs require U.S. title insurance companies to identify who is behind shell companies used in cash purchases of real estate.
The new purchase threshold is now $300,000 dollars and will apply to major metropolitan areas in the United States, including New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Las Vegas y Los Angeles.
According to the official announcement, virtual currencies must also be reported if used to purchase real estate properties. The main intention behind this decision is to track illicit funds and other criminal or illicit activity. It will also be informing FinCEN’s future regulatory efforts in this industry.
The announcement reads as follows:
“Previous GTOs provided valuable data on the purchase of residential real estate by persons implicated, or allegedly involved, in various illicit enterprises including foreign corruption, organized crime, fraud, narcotics trafficking, and other violations.”
The agency appreciates the assistance provided by different actors n the market, including the American Land Title Association. In this way, it is possible to protect real estate markets from abuse by illicit actors.
It is very positive for virtual currencies to be recognized by the FinCEN since it shows that there are several transactions being processed with digital assets. Around the world, there are several homes and real estate listings that are being sold for Bitcoin (BTC) and other virtual currencies.
Some time ago, a mansion in Rome was the first real estate accepting cryptocurrency bids at auction. Other countries such as New Zealand are also seeing new real estate developments being sold for cryptocurrencies.