The organizers of Initial Coin Offerings in the United States may be required to comply with the law on money transmitters and report suspicious investor actions.

In December 2017, Senator Ron Wyden sent a request to the US Treasury regarding the work of the department in relation to cryptocurrencies. The ministry sent a reply to the senator in February. The letter, dated 13 February and sent by the US Treasury Department for Combating Financial Crimes (FinCEN), states that the organizers of ICOs are subject to the law on money transmitters and therefore must comply with the AML/CFT requirements on combating money laundering, identify investors and comply with bank secrecy guidelines.

"...a developer that sells convertible virtual currency, including in the form of ICO coins or tokens, in exchange for another type of value that substitutes for currency is a money transmitter and must comply with AML/CFT requirements that apply to this type of [money services business]. An exchange that sells ICO coins or tokens, or exchanges them for other virtual currency, fiat currency, or other value that substitutes for currency, would typically also be a money transmitter."

Depending on features of each ICO, such companies may be regulated by either the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at Coin Center, wrote in a blog that, in his point of view, such an interpretation of the Bank Secrecy Act is “highly consequential” and raises “major licensing problem for ICOs.”

In his opinion, any ICO in which US residents (as organizers or investors) participated, and which was not registered with the Treasury Department for Combating Financial Crimes (FinCEN), can be considered an infringer of the federal law, which provides for punishment up to five years in jail. In a broad interpretation, according to Van Valkenburg, this law can be applied to ICOs already conducted. Thus all investors in such projects may face criminal liability for financing not properly registered money transmitters.