US Lawmaker Urges Biden Administration to Develop Robust Strategy to Prevent Crypto Use to Evade Sanctions – A US congressman has urged President Joe Biden’s administration to adopt a strong strategy to keep cryptocurrency from being used to circumvent sanctions.
“Emerging technologies like Cryptocurrency have many beneficial applications, such as humanitarian relief,” he added, but the government has not kept pace in ensuring that this unique form of payment is not exploited to undermine U.S. national security.
Representative Michael McCaul, a prominent member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has taken a variety of steps to prevent cryptocurrency from being used to circumvent US sanctions. In a statement released on Thursday, he urged the Biden administration to develop a strong plan to prevent crypto from being used to dodge sanctions.
“Punishing criminals is a good start, but I urge the administration to adopt a comprehensive policy to prevent bad actors from evading US sanctions by leveraging bitcoin.”
His remarks came after Virgil Griffith was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for assisting North Korea in evading US sanctions by utilizing bitcoin technologies.
Last month, Rep. McCaul wrote to President Joe Biden, expressing his concern about Russia’s potential exploitation of emerging technology like cryptocurrencies to avoid sanctions. He mentioned “an expected UN report on North Korea’s nuclear program being funded with stolen bitcoins.”
Following appearance before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence about how her department would handle the cryptocurrency-related sanctions evasion, the legislator issued a similar letter to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.
McCaul introduced the Russia Cryptocurrency Transparency Act with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks earlier this month. The bill was passed out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee with bipartisan support. This bill will “ensure that the United States is taking the appropriate actions to prevent these developing technologies from being utilized to escape US sanctions,” according to the bill.
US Lawmaker Urges Biden Administration to Develop Robust Strategy to Prevent Crypto Use to Evade Sanctions – While some lawmakers are concerned about the use of cryptocurrency to avoid sanctions, many experts believe that cryptocurrency is not an efficient instrument for evading penalties. “We don’t see crypto being utilized in a large-scale fashion to avoid sanctions,” a US Treasury official said in March.
Senator Elizabeth Warren has sponsored a crypto sanctions bill that “would impose extensive limitations on individuals who construct, operate, or use cryptocurrency networks, even if they have no knowledge or intent to assist in the evasion of sanctions.”