Juan Llanos

Managing Director | Advisor | Investor

Multiple Startups

Senior Anti-Money Laundering, Regulatory Compliance & Risk Management Expert; Cryptopreneur

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6 minutes (SixFree Call) $0 (No charge)
30 minutes $450.00
60 minutes $950.00


Compliance Anti-Money Laundering AML/CFT Regulation Risk Management Remittances Money Transmission MSB Identity Development Disruption Fintech Startups Public Policy Financial Inclusion


I help fintech startups build MVCPs (minimum viable compliant products), and mature companies optimize the risk/reward equation.  I help organizations successfully manage regulatory and compliance risks, as well as execute, measure, and sustain their operations.  I research the policy, regulatory, operational and societal implications of blockchains and distributed ledger technologies.

Strong research, management, leadership and strategy execution skills. Focus on strategic, functional and organizational alignment as keys to building and sustaining high-impact systems and cultures.

Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) since 2003. With over 13 years' experience of building and managing AML and regulatory compliance programs for multiple international jurisdictions, including Canada, Italy, the United States and Spain, have been recognized as a pioneer in the development of compliance, operational and risk management best practices for the money remittance industry.

In August of 2008, was granted permanent resident status by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services "by reason of extraordinary ability" in the fields of Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism.


  • Anti-Money Laundering and compliance operations, systems and tools
  • Bitcoin & crypto-currencies
  • Business intelligence, predictive analytics and data mining
  • Business process engineering and management
  • Customer Relationship Management and service design
  • Data design and management
  • Emerging applied technologies (cloud computing)
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Prepaid cards, mobile and electronic payments
  • Organizational design and development
  • Strategic business development
  • UX/UI Design


EVP of Business Development

November 2015 - present

Lead Coinalytics growth strategy and investor relations, while informing product and organizational design.

Coinalytics' mission is to enable enterprises to derive in real-time actionable insights, business intelligence and risk assessments from blockchains and decentralized applications. We are focused on creating the world's leading blockchain intelligence platform by leveraging the latest advances in distributed computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Managing Director

Multiple Startups
November 2013 - present

Helping fintech startups build their MVCP (Minimum Viable Compliant Product)

ADVISOR at: BitPagos, BitWage, Blinktrade, Blockchain of Things, Coinalytics, Koibanx/Rootstock, meXBT, Serica

INVESTOR at: Compology, DailyDrip, Entrusters, Factom, Tierion, Unidos

MENTOR at: BBVA Open Talent (America, Europe), Finnovista (America), Founder Institute (Panama), Plug & Play Tech Center (Silicon Valley), StartupBootCamp (America)

EVP of Strategic Partnerships and Chief Transparency Officer

April 2014 - May 2015

Co-Founder, EVP & Compliance Officer

Unidos Financial Services, Inc.
August 2006 - March 2014

Vice President of Service & Chief Compliance Officer

Remesas Quisqueyana, Inc.
February 2002 - August 2006


Universidad de Palermo

1997 - 2000

Areas of research: Customer Relationship Management, Marketing Research, Quality, Services Marketing

Universidad del Salvador

BAs, Graduate Diploma
1988 - 1999

Over the course of a decade, obtained several bachelor degrees in the fields of Applied Linguistics and Education.

Mars Hill College

1991 - 1991

ISEP Exchange Student - Undergraduate studies in American Government, American History, English Literature and Music

Virginia Commonwealth University

1991 - 1991

ISEP Exchange Student - Undergraduate studies in American Literature and Music




Spanish; English, French

5/19/2018 11:02:55 AM,
Juan Llanos replied:

It is very salutary for the industry as a whole for securities and commodities regulators to be focusing on fraud right now. As they should, they are looking at the promises and representations being made to consumers and investors, and are trying to weed out the obvious scams and exaggerated claimants. It’s somewhat reassuring to see them taking this approach, given the sheer number of projects making unrealistic claims or misrepresenting obvious investment contracts as utility or consumer tokens. Regulators have repeatedly stated in the past few months that when a token fits the conditions of the Howie test [“an investment contract is “a contract, transaction or scheme whereby [1] a person invests his money [2] in a common enterprise and [3] is led to expect profits solely from the efforts of the promoter or a third party.”], it is an investment contract subject to federal securities regulations.

The challenge for both regulators and entrepreneurs is that some of the digital cryptographically protected units of value known as tokens that are emerging have a dual nature: they’re both consumptive because they grant access to a technology service, for example, and at the same time provide an investment opportunity for purchasers. There is today globally a legal vacuum with respect to certain tokens that have a strong utility and consumptive value because they don’t fully fit the definition of ‘investment contract’ under Howie or its international equivalents. So regulators globally should at some point clarify whether and how these unique, hybrid tokens should be regulated, bearing in mind that they’re a formidable innovation that could have an enormous positive impact on society.

Have you advised any clients on ICOs? If not, can you recommend law firms that are providing good guidance in this area?

In particular, wondering the scope of the legal work that needs to go into supporting a REPUTABLE ICO?  

9/18/2017 4:53:00 AM,
Juan Llanos replied:

Yes, I have. Several selected ones whom I get to know and trust after a series of conversations and considerable research (what everyone should do, I might add).

I cannot recommend anyone because this is new territory and the legal opinions so far rendered have yet to be tested in court.

Nobody can claim to be an expert (let alone junior lawyers that did not know what money transmission was four years ago). It all depends on the risk appetite of the client, and the open-mindedness and forethought of the advisor. And on everyone's reading comprehension and research skills, of course.


12/24/2016 11:02:09 AM,
Juan Llanos replied:
My read of the political tea leaves is that the future does not look good for public/open blockchains under Trump. It is likely that "Blockchain" in general will continue to spearhead the fintech revolution, but with the primary goal of reducing costs for the dominant intermediaries. From the point of view of policy, regulation and enforcement, however, private/closed blockchains will continue to be favored over public/open blockchains. The expectation of a regulatory sandbox in the US is naive. Only the well-funded and well-managed companies will be able to comply with the onerous consumer protection, safety and soundness and anti-crime requirements that the US will impose on participating entities. Fintech innovation will be easier elsewhere than in the United States, as long as the innovators don't touch the USD or serve US consumers or investors. And let's get prepared for the new administration stepping up the war against terrorism, which will put pressure on public/open blockchains to incorporate increasingly restrictive safeguards.

Do you have a view on the use of bitcoin or blockchain technology in the cannabis sector?


Since cannabis laws can differ between the state and federal level and since cannabis businesses cannot open basic banking accounts or access other banking services, do you have a view on the use of bitcoin or blockchain technology in the cannabis sector? 

8/10/2016 3:05:32 PM,
Juan Llanos replied:

Bitcoin as an alternative payment system is theoretically good for any value transfer in any industry. I say theoretically because there are a lot of constraints that impede its adoption, of which regulation is probably the most significant.

The uncertainty and controversy around Bitcoin would be highly compounded if it were used as a solution for the Cannabis industry. In fact, it already has proven lethal for at least one a company that was unable to reaise VC money in spite of having a great team and product.

A lot of things that are hard to change -policy, law, regulation, law enforcement attitudes- would need to change for this to be a viable combination.  Of course, entrepreneurs always have the choice of ignoring these concerns and ask for permission and deal with the consequences after the fact.

If my business adopts bitcoin how do I know the buyers of my products are not criminals and trying to launder money when they buy products?

What are the controls to ensure I am not dealing with criminal elements when they insist on paying with Bitcoin?

2/27/2016 3:11:20 PM,
Juan Llanos replied:

Depending on the nature of your business, the concern you express can be a matter of choice (if you're not a regulated financial institution, for example) or a matter of obligation (if you are a regulated entity subject to obligatory compliance). In general, it is the payment processor whose plugin you're utilizing to capture bitcoins that has the responsibility and technical capabilities to minimize the risks that illegitimate money is being used to purchase your product or service. Of course, you also have the option to implement additional controls of your own. Deterrents for criminals include forcing people to submit proof of identification and address, and verifying them (a process popularly known as Know Your Customer or KYC), as well as running the incoming bitcoins through an analytics platform featuring a risk score, or some other form of taint analysis. Regulated entities, such as payment processors, are mandated to implement deterrent and detective tools and techniques that are risk-based, reasonable and effective. As a merchant you should partner with someone with high technical expertise and capabilities and who is committed to implementing the latest best practices available.