Today, US Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced legislation to address its concerns over the alleged misuse of digital currencies in illicit activities, citing money laundering, drug trafficking, sanctions evasion, and more.
The bill, supported by a coalition within the Banking Committee, marks a significant step forward for increased oversight and regulation within the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency sphere. Citing the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, Senator Warren highlighted that digital currencies are being used as an avenue for criminal activities and this must be addressed through strict regulatory frameworks.
“The Treasury Department is making clear that we need new laws to crack down on the use of crypto to allow terrorist groups, rogue nations, drug lords, ransomware gangs, and fraudsters to launder billions stolen funds, evade sanctions, finance illegal weapons programs and benefit from devastating cyberattacks,” Warren said. “I’m glad five new senators are joining the fight to take action, including three members of the Banking Committee – our bipartisan bill is the toughest proposal on the table to crack down on illicit crypto use and give regulators more tools in their toolbox. »
Senator Warren’s bill seeks to impose stricter reporting requirements by expanding Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) responsibilities, including know-your-customer (KYC) requirements, filing reports on “transactions involving unhosted wallets”, and much more. All with the aim of filling “gaps and making the digital asset ecosystem more compliant”.
This bill is endorsed by the Bank Policy Institute, Massachusetts Bankers Association, Transparency International US, Global Financial Integrity, National District Attorneys Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association, AARP, National Consumer Law Center and the National Consumers League.
The proposed legislation comes at a time when the popularity and adoption of Bitcoin has increased around the world, particularly in the United States. As next month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will have to make a decision on whether to approve the United States’ first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), which, if approved, could experiencing massive demand from institutions and individuals for BTC.
Last Thursday, Senator Warren said live on CNBC that North Korea uses Bitcoin and crypto to fund nearly half of its nuclear weapons program.