US Commerce Department To Include Cryptocurrencies In 2020’s Economic Analysis Survey

  • Every 5 years the US government through the BEA requires US financial services providers to file their BE-180’s detailing the transactions to foreign citizens.
  • This year BE-180 has its eyes set on the crypto space too.

The US commerce department, through the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is looking to implement a nationwide benchmark survey of all financial institutions. This benchmark wants financial institutions to analyze how their services transcend boundaries.

BEA holds this BE-180 every five years where financial institutions are obligated to file a questionnaire. The BE-180 essentially collects data on transactions between U.S. financial services providers and foreign persons. Earlier in 2019 BEA had proposed changes to the type of data being collected and the design of the questionnaire.

Additional Features to be expected in 2020 BE-180 Survey

Initially, the questionnaire, BE-180, only required a few details such as total sales with details such as nationality or affiliations of the foreign customers being voluntary. However, with the 2019 proposal, they will be required to provide a total dollar amount for their sales and purchases, as applicable, by transaction type, regardless of the number of their transactions in covered services.

The respondents of the 2020 BE-180 survey will also be required to submit their Legal Entity Identifier LEI. This is a 20-digit code used to identify parties to financial transactions worldwide. Other notable features are mandatory questions that aimed at collecting information about financial services offered remotely.

“This information would allow BEA to improve the accuracy of the trade statistics.”

The survey will be available to securities lending services, electronic funds transfer services, brokerage services amongst other services outlined by the BEA. They expect over 7000 respondents with 5500 of those being required to report mandatory data, while the other 1500 filing exemption claims.

The 2015 BE-180 didn’t cover cryptocurrency transactions despite BEA's top brass insisting it was in the scope of the survey.

However, Christopher Stein, BEA Services and Surveys Branch Chief has insisted that the survey wasn’t aimed at individual transactions but rather an acknowledgment of a brokerage fee for the transactions rendered to cross-border trade of crypto assets.

“It's a new and evolving area in the financial services market, and the benchmark is an opportunity to ask more information and clarify survey requirements.”

The proposal is looking to align the BEA statistics with international parameters with the data being collected for monitoring purposes of the US financial markets.

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