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Author Topic: Lightning Network and FinCEN  (Read 20 times)
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March 30, 2018, 11:31:31 PM

Hey gang, been looking for more opinions on this and can't really seem to find strong answers. What the thoughts on FinCEN considering LN transmitter nodes as money transmitters? If they do, it seems that would be a strong force for centralization as you would have to maintain a direct channel with the recipient or route through a node holding a money transmitter license. Below are some info I pulled from a reddit post discussing it, but no one really was able to give strong arguments to the contrary.

“FinCEN's regulations define the term "money transmitter" as a person that provides money transmission services, or any other person engaged in the transfer of funds. The term "money transmission services" means "the acceptance of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency from one person and the transmission of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency to another location or person by any means. The definition of a money transmitter does not differentiate between real currencies and convertible virtual currencies. Accepting and transmitting anything of value that substitutes for currency makes a person a money transmitter under the regulations implementing the BSA.”

“The administrator of that repository will be a money transmitter to the extent that it allows transfers of value between persons or from one location to another. This conclusion applies, whether the value is denominated in a real currency or a convertible virtual currency. In addition, any exchanger that uses its access to the convertible virtual currency services provided by the administrator to accept and transmit the convertible virtual currency on behalf of others, including transfers intended to pay a third party for virtual goods and services, is also a money transmitter.”

“Under FinCEN's regulations, sending "value that substitutes for currency" to another person or to another location constitutes money transmission”

“a person is an exchanger and a money transmitter if the person accepts such de-centralized convertible virtual currency from one person and transmits it to another person as part of the acceptance and transfer of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency.”

Thanks for all opinions. To me this seems fairly ominous for any regular Joe's operating a LN node, but I hope I'm wrong.
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