Meet Lauren Day, Deployment Strategist and Former Compliance & Risk Manager at Binance
With a wealth of experience in AML compliance, implementing transaction monitoring systems and conducting investigations, Lauren focuses on customer success at TRM, working to ensure TRM’s clients have ample access to product training and providing dedicated compliance advisory services. Prior to joining TRM, Lauren spent several years in the world of crypto compliance at exchanges such as bitFlyer USA and Binance.US, working as a Transaction Monitoring Manager overseeing a team of investigators to build out investigative and SAR filing processes. Lauren holds a master’s degree in Financial Crime Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. In September 2021, alongside several other women in the crypto industry, Lauren co-founded Crypto Connect, a nonprofit, decentralized organization dedicated to sponsoring educational and networking opportunities for the cryptocurrency industry. An avid Francophile, Lauren previously spent a year living on Bordeaux, France.
We sat down with Lauren to discuss the current compliance landscape in the crypto industry.
As a compliance professional, what is something that surprises you about compliance programs in the crypto world?
Money laundering generally follows the same patterns and movements that it does in the traditional financial space, except we now have blockchain analytics tools to transparently see the flow of funds. The traditional financial world has the misconception that crime occurs more frequently with cryptocurrency, but the reality is that the rates and typologies are about the same as any other financial instrument. If anything, crypto investigations are made simpler by the public, transparent nature of the blockchain!
How do you see the crypto compliance landscape changing over the next 3-5 years?
Having been in the crypto industry for almost 5 years now, I have seen the space grow from being solely Bitcoin-focused to a broader range of asset types. In the same way that the crypto ecosystem is growing, illicit actors are becoming more sophisticated in the way they launder funds, including programmatically transferring funds to obfuscate the trail. While illicit actors are increasingly sophisticated, so are the tools to combat and track their activity. I see blockchain analytics tools like TRM becoming a compulsory part of any robust crypto compliance program in the next few years. Moreover, we are poised to see significant shifts in crypto regulation in the coming years which will naturally change the way we think about compliance, particularly around the impact that AML regulations will have on the transparent and traceable nature of cryptocurrency.
With this in mind, what advice would you give to companies who are building out crypto compliance programs?
- Start out by gaining a deep understanding your company’s products to better grasp their individual compliance requirements. A good example of products with differing compliance requirements would be the case of privacy coins on US exchanges versus Bitcoin. Transactions involving privacy coins may trigger additional due diligence compared to those involving Bitcoin, which have inherently greater visibility from a monitoring standpoint.
- Implement high quality blockchain analytics for transaction monitoring.
- Don’t underestimate the power of hiring experienced crypto compliance professionals for guidance and advisory services. This is a fast moving space and having dedicated expertise is critical to success.
- Proactive engagement with regulators is a key to success- as much as companies lean on regulators for guidance, regulators also lean on private sector companies to gain knowledge on the ecosystem.
- Education about compliance within your company and sector is essential. There are various different resources providing detailed knowledge in this space; one such resource is TRM Academy.
What are some of the most common questions you are asked in this role about compliance in crypto?
A significant portion of my day is spent ensuring that compliance professionals who use TRM’s blockchain intelligence platform have access to the knowledge required to make educated decisions regarding compliance in the world of crypto. While no day is the same, some of the recurring issues and themes I get asked about are:
- The FATF travel rule: namely, how to address it and how does TRM help identify between hosted and unhosted wallets?
- Liquidity pools: namely, how are they scored within the TRM platform and what parameters should be put in place to evaluate risk?
- Sanctions exposure risk: How is this evaluated, and does exposure need to be direct for it to be liable by OFAC?
Finally, on a more personal level, what has struck you about your move from being a TRM user in a crypto company to now working for TRM?
It has been an exciting change of pace! My background in AML compliance involved implementing transaction monitoring systems, conducting investigations and filing Suspicious Activity Reports as required by BSA/AML regulations in the US. I have now transitioned from a compliance role to an external facing customer success role at TRM, which feels like a natural progression as I’m assisting fellow compliance professionals implement and utilize TRM for their crypto businesses. I have a deep understanding of how transaction monitoring is conducted in the cryptocurrency space so I’m not only training compliance professionals to use blockchain analytics but also acting as an advisor providing advice on larger compliance questions in crypto.
Interested in a role at TRM? See our current openings here.
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