Money Services Business

In financial regulation money services business includes any person doing business in one or more of the following capacities:

  1. Currency dealer or exchange making.
  2. Check cashier.
  3. Issuer of checks, money orders or stored value.

Crypto exchanges are regulated as money services business in the United States, not as brokers. Money service business regulation is far less restrictive than the regulation applied to market makers or brokers, is very state-by-state based in terms of enforcement, and often only involves compliance with high-level FinCEN guidelines on AML and KYC checks on transmission of stored value.


  1. ‘Guidance on Cryptoassets’. 2019. Financial Conduct Authority.
  2. Amenta, Carlo, E Riva Sanseverino, and Carlo Stagnaro. 2021. ‘Regulating Blockchain for Sustainability? The Critical Relationship between Digital Innovation, Regulation, and Electricity Governance’. Energy Research & Social Science 76: 102060.
  3. Arjaliès, Diane-Laure. 2020. ‘“At the Very Beginning, There’S This Dream.” the Role of Utopia in the Workings of Local and Cryptocurrencies’. In Handbook of Alternative Finance. February.'S_THIS_DREAM_THE_ROLE_OF_UTOPIA_IN_THE_WORKINGS_OF_LOCAL_AND_CRYPTOCURRENCIES.
  4. Azgad-Tromer, Shlomit. 2018. ‘Crypto Securities: On the Risks of Investments in Blockchain-Based Assets and the Dilemmas of Securities Regulation’. Am. UL Rev. 68: 69.
  5. Barrett, Claer. 2021. ‘Why Young Investors Bet the Farm on Cryptocurrencies’. Financial Times, 28 May 2021.
  6. Burilov, Vlad. 2019. ‘Regulation of Crypto Tokens and Initial Coin Offerings in the EU: De Lege Lata and de Lege Ferenda’. European Journal of Comparative Law and Governance 6 (2): 146–86.
  7. Cristina Cuervo, Anastasiia Morozova. 2020. ‘Regulation of Crypto Assets’. International Monetary Fund.
  8. Cumming, Douglas J., Sofia Johan, and Anshum Pant. 2019. ‘Regulation of the Crypto-Economy: Managing Risks, Challenges, and Regulatory Uncertainty’. Journal of Risk and Financial Management 12 (3): 126.
  9. Doody, Sean. 2020. ‘Reactionary Technopolitics: A Critical Sociohistorical Review’. Fast Capitalism 17 (1): 143–64.
  10. Eich, Stefan. 2019. ‘Old Utopias, New Tax Havens: The Politics of Bitcoin in Historical Perspective’. Regulating Blockchain: Techno-Social and Legal Challenges, 85–98.
  11. Eichengreen, Barry. 2021. ‘Financial Regulation in the Age of the Platform Economy’. Journal of Banking Regulation, 1–11.
  12. Feinstein, Brian D, and Kevin Werbach. 2020. ‘The Impact of Cryptocurrency Regulation on Trading Markets’.
  13. Ferreira, Agata. 2021. ‘The Curious Case of Stablecoins—Balancing Risks and Rewards?’ Journal of International Economic Law 24 (4): 755–78.
  14. Guadamuz, Andres, and Chris Marsden. 2015. ‘Blockchains and Bitcoin: Regulatory Responses to Cryptocurrencies’. First Monday 20 (12).
  15. Hacker, Philipp, Ioannis Lianos, Georgios Dimitropoulos, and Stefan Eich. 2019. Regulating Blockchain: : Techno-Social and Legal Challenges.
  16. Herian, Robert. 2020. ‘Blockchain, GDPR, and Fantasies of Data Sovereignty’. Law, Innovation and Technology 12 (1): 156–74.
  17. Ivaniuk, Viktoria. 2020. ‘Cryptocurrency Exchange Regulation – An International Review’. Magda Dziembowska, Robert Dziembowski, Apelacja w Postępowaniu, 67.
  18. Kapsis, Ilias. 2021. ‘Should We Trade Market Stability for More Financial Inclusion? The Case of Crypto-Assets Regulation in EU’. FinTech, Artificial Intelligence and the Law: Regulation and Crime Prevention, 85–104.
  19. Nabilou, Hossein, and André Prüm. 2019. ‘Ignorance, Debt, and Cryptocurrencies: The Old and the New in the Law and Economics of Concurrent Currencies’. Journal of Financial Regulation 5 (1): 29–63.
  20. Rae, Shaela W, and Lorraine Mastersmith. 2019. ‘Crypto Asset Trading in Canada: Entering a New Era of Regulation’. Banking & Finance Law Review 35 (1): 153–85.
  21. Schneiders, Alexandra, and David Shipworth. 2021. ‘Community Energy Groups: Can They Shield Consumers from the Risks of Using Blockchain for Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading?’ Energies 14 (12).
  22. Tozze, Arianna, Josh Kamps, Eray Arda Akartuna, Toby Davies, Florian Hetzel, and Shane D. Johnson. 2021. ‘Cryptocurrencies and Future Crime’. Crime Science 11 (1): 4.
  23. Xie, Rain. 2019. ‘Why China Had to Ban Cryptocurrency but the U.S. Did Not: A Comparative Analysis of Regulations on Crypto-Markets between the U.S. and China’. Wash. U. Global Stud. L. Rev. 18 (2): 457–89.
  24. Yeung, Karen. 2019. ‘Regulation by Blockchain: The Emerging Battle for Supremacy between the Code of Law and Code as Law’. Modern Law Review 82 (2): 207–39.