Yaya J. Fanusie founded Cryptocurrency AML Strategies, LLC after several years of pioneering research and analysis on the nexus between cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and U.S. national security. In 2015, as the director of analysis for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, Yaya began to look closely at financial technology’s impact on terrorist financing, money laundering, and other illicit finance threats. In 2016, Yaya conducted an open-source investigation on the first publicly-verifiable terrorist Bitcoin crowdfunding campaign. He soon became a leading policy expert on the growth of cryptocurrencies and the risks to anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).
In engaging cryptocurrency industry leaders and Washington DC policymakers over the years, Yaya noticed a gap between industry awareness of AML/CFT standards and the expectations of financial authorities. In 2018, regulators began to signal that they would increase scrutiny and enforcement of virtual asset service providers like cryptocurrency exchanges, putting the crypto space on notice and pointing the way for digital assets to enter the broader financial sector. Cryptocurrency AML Strategies opened its doors in 2019 to help cryptocurrency firms understand AML requirements and assist banks seeking strategies to address the evolving role of digital assets in finance.
founder, chief strategist
Yaya J. Fanusie
Yaya worked as an economic analyst and counterterrorism analyst for the CIA, where he produced analysis and briefings for the most senior-level officials of the U.S. government, including the President. After leaving government service, Yaya worked for a small consulting firm focused on financial asset recovery cases involving global corruption. Later, at the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, he coauthored research on Bitcoin money laundering and facilitated public-private information-sharing between between cryptocurrency industry leaders and financial authorities. Yaya has testified before the U.S. Congress and the House Financial Services Committee multiple times on terrorist financing and is sought after by national and global media outlets to speak on fintech and illicit finance issues. Yaya also developed and taught an introductory blockchain course at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
M.A., International Affairs
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY