Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Crypto Bill Gains Support Among US Lawmakers

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Crypto Bill Gains Support Among US Lawmakers – The Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, which was recently reintroduced in Congress by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Roger Marshall, Joe Manchin, and Lindsey Graham, has garnered backing from nine U.S. lawmakers. This crypto bill has been characterized by experts as the most direct challenge to the privacy and personal freedoms of cryptocurrency users.

The bill aims to “close loopholes in current law and bring cryptocurrency companies into greater compliance with the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AMF/CFT) frameworks that govern much of the financial system,” the lawmakers described. Senator Warren initially introduced the bill in December of the previous year. Then, in July, Senators Warren, Marshall, Manchin, and Graham reintroduced the same bill. 

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This legislation has been described by experts as the most direct assault on the personal freedom and privacy of cryptocurrency users. Notably, just last week, an additional group of U.S. Senators, including Catherine Cortez Masto, Gary Peters, Dick Durbin, Tina Smith, Angus King, Jeanne Shaheen, Bob Casey, Richard Blumenthal, and Michael Bennet, declared their endorsement of the bill.

“We must stop transnational drug cartels and other criminal organizations from funding their illegal activity through cryptocurrencies,” Senator Cortez Masto stressed, elaborating: “Our bipartisan bill will make sure cryptocurrency companies follow the same rules as banks, close loopholes that criminals are taking advantage of, and give our financial institutions the necessary tools to go after bad actors.”

The following organizations have given their support to this bill: the Bank Policy Institute, Transparency International U.S., Global Financial Integrity, National District Attorneys Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, AARP, the National Consumer Law Center (representing its low-income clients), and the National Consumers League. 

“The existing anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act framework must account for digital assets, and we look forward to engaging in this process to defend our nation’s financial system against illicit finance in all its forms,” Bank Policy Institute described. 

According to a summary provided by the lawmakers who support the bill, the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act would: “Extend Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) responsibilities, including Know-Your-Customer requirements, to digital asset wallet providers, miners, validators, and other network participants that may act to validate, secure, or facilitate digital asset transactions.”

It would also “Address a major gap with respect to ‘unhosted’ digital wallets,” requiring banks and money service businesses (MSBs) to “verify customer and counterparty identities, keep records, and file reports in relation to certain digital asset transactions involving unhosted wallets or wallets hosted in non-BSA compliant jurisdictions,” the lawmakers added.

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Moreover, the bill seeks to extend BSA rules regarding foreign bank accounts to include digital assets by requiring U.S. persons “engaged in a transaction with a value greater than $10,000 in digital assets through one or more offshore accounts to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) with the Internal Revenue Service.”

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