What is the immediate impact of the fine? Most probably it will cause at least a few potential bank partners to pause. On the other hand it could provide clarity and reassurance that firms like Ripple are no different to any other money-service business and are regulated as such.
In March 2013, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued guidance recognizing virtual currency businesses as money transmitters, which effectively subjected them to existing anti-money-laundering regulations. But Ripple Labs facilitated transactions for months after the guidance was issued without proper AML protections after registering its subsidiary, XRP II, as a money-services business, or MSB. That was a key reason the firm was fined, despite the fact that it later put AML protections in place.