The U.S. Treasury's 2024 Strategy for Combating Illicit Financing: A Web3 Viewpoint

The U.S. Treasury's 2024 Strategy for Combating Illicit Financing: A Web3 Viewpoint

Treasury’s Latest Blueprint: A Comprehensive Overview

In May 2024, the U.S. Department of Treasury unveiled its “National Strategy for Combating Terrorist and Other Illicit Financing.” This pivotal document outlines the U.S. government’s comprehensive approach to addressing significant illicit finance threats and risks to the financial system. The strategy emphasizes modernizing the anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) regime, enhancing operational effectiveness, and leveraging technological innovations to combat evolving threats.

Crypto in the Crosshairs: Treasury’s Stance on Virtual Assets

The Treasury’s stance on cryptocurrencies and virtual assets is pragmatic yet cautious. While acknowledging the transformative potential of these technologies, the report underscores the substantial risks they pose, including their potential misuse for money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit activities. The Treasury is committed to updating regulatory requirements and supervisory frameworks to address these challenges, ensuring that the benefits of virtual assets are realized without compromising the integrity of the financial system.

DeFi Under the Microscope: Strategic Measures for Decentralized Finance

The 2024 strategy places a significant emphasis on managing risks associated with decentralized finance (DeFi). Key strategic measures include:

  • Monitoring Emerging Risks: Continuously assessing the evolving DeFi landscape and its associated risks to stay ahead of illicit actors.
  • Enhancing Supervision and Enforcement: Strengthening AML/CFT supervision and enforcement for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) and DeFi platforms to ensure compliance.
  • Regulatory Updates: Considering potential enhancements to the AML/CFT regulatory regime as applied to DeFi services to close existing gaps.
  • Public-Private Collaboration: Engaging with the private sector to promote the development of AML/CFT solutions tailored to DeFi, fostering a collaborative approach to combating illicit finance.

Evolution of Strategy: 2023 vs. 2024 — What’s New and Why

The 2024 strategy reflects a more nuanced understanding of the crypto landscape compared to its 2023 predecessor. Key changes include:

  • Beneficial Ownership Information E-Filing System: Operationalized in January 2024 to enhance corporate transparency and prevent misuse of legal entities.
  • Proposed Regulations for Real Estate and Investment Advisers: Targeting sectors frequently exploited by illicit actors to hide or move funds.
  • Increased Focus on DeFi and Virtual Assets: Recognizing the growing role of these technologies in the financial ecosystem and the need for robust regulatory frameworks.

These changes are driven by the rapid evolution of the crypto space and the increasing sophistication of illicit actors. The Treasury aims to stay ahead of these developments by continuously updating its strategies and tools to protect the financial system.

The Imperative of AML in Crypto: Safeguarding the Future

Implementing AML measures in the crypto space is crucial for several reasons:

  • Preventing Illicit Activities: Effective AML measures help prevent money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit activities, protecting the integrity of the financial system.
  • Enhancing Trust: Robust AML compliance builds trust among users, regulators, and financial institutions, fostering a safer and more reliable market.
  • Ensuring Market Integrity: AML measures ensure that the crypto market operates transparently and fairly, protecting investors and users from fraudulent activities.
  • Global Compliance: Aligning with international AML standards, such as those set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), ensures global interoperability and cooperation, facilitating international trade and investment.

zkMe: The Future of Decentralized AML Compliance

Given the U.S. Treasury’s stringent stance on AML, robust compliance is more critical than ever. At zkMe, we uphold the highest standards of compliance and AML by building zk Identity Oracles for truly decentralized and anonymous cross-chain credential verifications. Here’s how we excel:

  • User-Controlled Data: Only users process their personal information, eliminating data leak risks.
  • Decentralized and Anonymous: Our fully decentralized solution ensures user anonymity while meeting AML regulations.
  • Interoperability and Reusability: Our identity solutions work across various platforms, providing a seamless user experience.
  • FATF Compliant: As the only fully decentralized KYC provider compliant with FATF standards, we offer anti-bot/anti-sybil solutions and KYC services.
  • By leveraging zero-knowledge proofs, zkMe ensures AML compliance without compromising decentralization or privacy, making us the ideal partner for DeFi platforms and crypto services aiming to enhance their AML capabilities.

zkMe’s Zero-Knowledge Proof (ZKP)-based AML solution addresses the challenges of traditional KYC processes in the Web3 ecosystem. It conducts AML profile checks and transaction monitoring — Know-Your-Transaction (KYT) to prevent financial crimes, while prioritizing user privacy through technologies like private set intersection and zero-knowledge proofs. This approach helps businesses comply with AML regulations without compromising the decentralization and user data autonomy principles of Web3. Additionally, the simplified and efficient verification process improves the user experience compared to traditional KYC methods.


The U.S. Department of Treasury’s 2024 strategy highlights the growing importance of AML measures in the crypto and DeFi spaces. As the regulatory landscape evolves, solutions like zkMe play a crucial role in ensuring compliance while preserving the decentralized and anonymous nature of blockchain technology. By addressing the unique challenges of the crypto ecosystem, zkMe sets a new standard for AML compliance, paving the way for a more secure and trustworthy financial future.

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About zkMe

zkMe builds zk Identity Oracles for truly decentralized & anonymous cross-chain credential verifications.

No personal information is ever processed by anyone but the user themselves. Data leaks & misuse by the service provider are impossible; full interoperability & reusability result in a superior ID solution. zkMe’s is the only FATF compliant KYC provider to be fully decentralized, offering a full suite of products from anti-bit/anti-sybil, to KYC and more.

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