Senator finds support for cryptocurrency AML bill

Senator finds support for cryptocurrency AML bill

Senator Elizabeth Warren is doubling down on crypto enforcement

Crypto legislation reintroduced in July has gained the support of several US Senators, but opposers have implied it could threaten financial independence and privacy. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a candid critic of digital assets in the US government, has reported that five more senators have agreed to be co-sponsors of her bill to target money laundering.

Senator Warren announced on December 11 that Senators Raphael Warnock, John Hickenlooper, Laphonza Butler, Chris Van Hollen and Ben Ray Luján had endorsed her Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, which was reintroduced in July. Warren says the legislation expressly targets illegally using crypto funds to launder money and finance terrorism.

“I’m glad that five new senators are joining the fight to take action, including three members of the Banking Committee,” expressed Warren. “Our bipartisan bill is the toughest proposal on the table cracking down on crypto’s illicit use and giving regulators more tools in their toolbox.”

Several senators and institutions have already given the bill bipartisan support, including Transparency International US, the Bank Policy Institute, the Massachusetts Bankers Association, Global Financial Integrity, the National District Attorneys Association, the National Consumer Law Center, Major County Sheriffs of America and the National Consumers League.

Warren reiterated in the statement an assertion she made in a Senate Banking Committee hearing and subsequent interviews on December 6 that approximately half of North Korea’s missile program was financed by digital assets.

Some critics of the legislation implied that lawmakers should concentrate on the criminals using the technology instead of digital assets and their infrastructures. Cybersecurity expert Steve Weisman supported the bill while speaking at a Senate hearing in November, saying it’s a “no-brainer” to address money laundering concerns.

While regulations are needed for the crypto ecosystem to grow, Warren’s initiative might not survive. Of the 330 bills she’s introduced in her 11-year tenure, she’s only found approval for 11 of them.

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