The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a warning to US citizens not to use unregistered cryptocurrency transmission services, highlighting the risks of smart contract-driven privacy tools.

The warning, issued on April 25, strongly advises citizens to only use registered Cryptocurrency Money Services companies that comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation.

Warning against using cryptomix services

The FBI recently reported law enforcement operations against unlicensed crypto services, highlighting that users of such services may experience “financial disruption” during enforcement actions, especially if their money becomes mixed with illegally obtained funds.

Michael Balcina, Digital Asset Partner at Piper Alderman, indicated that the FBI primarily warns against the use of crypto mixing services such as Samouri and Tornado Cash, but noted that the warning remains vague and lacks important details about how decentralized systems function.

On the same day, the co-founders of Samourai Wallet, a Bitcoin wallet and crypto mixing service, were arrested on money laundering charges. CEO Keonne Rodriguez and CTO William Hill are charged with money laundering and operating a money transmission business without the necessary license, carrying a maximum prison sentence of 25 years.

Uncertainty about exactly which services are involved

Ryan Sean Adams of Bankless described the FBI’s announcement as “creepy” and pointed out the lack of clarity over which services could be considered a Money Services Business (MSB). “Is your code or wallet an MSB? Maybe, maybe not, but we are currently arresting privacy developers and calling them MSBs,” he said on April 25.

These incidents illustrate the growing legal tensions between crypto companies and US regulators, with Ethereum development company Consensys suing the SEC on the same day for allegedly trying to control the future of cryptocurrency with targeted enforcement actions.


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