Mark Alexander Hopkins, known as “Doctor Bitcoin,” pled guilty in the Northern District of Texas on June 29, 2021, to illegally operating a cash-to-cryptocurrency conversion business. According to a press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Hopkins pled guilty to one count of operation of an unlicensed money transmitter business.

Hopkins ran a business that converted US dollars to cryptocurrency, primarily Bitcoin, for a fee. Money transmitter businesses fall under the money services business (MSB) umbrella and are subject to federal requirements. MSBs are required to register with FinCEN in an effort to mitigate the risks of criminal abuse of MSBs for money laundering and terrorist financing. MSBs must establish and maintain an anti-money laundering program, and submit Suspicious Activity Reports for financial transactions above $2,000 if the source of the cash is suspected to be illegal.


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