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Elizabeth Warren’s anti-crypto bill advances with Senate backing

In this post:

  • Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act gains significant support in the Senate.
  • The bill targets cryptocurrency-related financial risks like money laundering and sanctions evasion.
  • Key provisions include extending Bank Secrecy Act responsibilities to digital asset entities and addressing unhosted digital wallets.

In a move that has stirred controversy and debate within the financial sector, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s latest legislative effort, the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, has advanced in the Senate.

Garnering support from various senators, this bill represents a significant push towards more stringent regulation of digital assets, reflecting a growing governmental interest in the oversight of the cryptocurrency market.

Escalating Government Involvement in Cryptocurrency Regulation

Senator Warren’s bill, which aims to mitigate financial risks associated with cryptocurrencies, has found backing from members of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee. Senators including Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) have joined as co-sponsors.

This development suggests an increasing appetite among lawmakers for tighter control over the crypto sector, which has long been criticized for its potential role in illicit activities such as money laundering and sanctions evasion.

The bill proposes several critical measures, notably extending the reach of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) to entities within the crypto space, including wallet providers, miners, and validators.

This move aims to impose traditional financial market safeguards, like Know-Your-Customer (KYC) requirements, on a sector that has, until now, operated with a significant degree of autonomy from such regulations.

Potential Impacts and Criticisms of the Bill

Senator Warren, alongside her supporters, argues that these measures are necessary to protect the financial system and citizens from the risks posed by digital currencies. However, the bill has not been without its critics, who argue that such stringent regulations could stifle innovation in the burgeoning crypto industry.

Maryland Senator Van Hollen, for example, highlights crypto’s use by terrorist organizations and authoritarian regimes, advocating for crypto to be governed by similar transparency rules as traditional banks.

The bill also targets “unhosted” digital wallets, aiming to close a gap that currently allows individuals to bypass AML and sanctions checks. It instructs FinCEN to guide financial institutions on handling digital assets, particularly those anonymized using mixers and other technologies.

Furthermore, it demands stricter BSA compliance from various entities, including the Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Notably, the bill includes a provision to extend BSA rules about foreign bank account reporting to include digital assets. This means U.S. persons engaged in transactions over $10,000 through offshore accounts in digital assets would need to file reports with the Internal Revenue Service.

Additionally, it aims to mitigate risks associated with digital asset ATMs by requiring owners and administrators to regularly submit and update physical addresses of their kiosks.

In essence, the advancement of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act is a clear indicator of the shifting landscape in the U.S. regarding cryptocurrency regulation.

While the bill’s proponents argue for its necessity in safeguarding against financial crimes, it faces criticism for potentially hampering the growth and innovation of the crypto industry. As the bill moves forward, it stands as a testament to the growing focus of U.S. lawmakers on the rapidly evolving world of digital finance.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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