Nine U.S. lawmakers have thrown their support behind the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, recently reintroduced in Congress by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Roger Marshall, Joe Manchin, and Lindsey Graham. Experts have warned that this crypto bill is the most direct attack on the privacy and personal freedom of cryptocurrency users.
Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act Gains Support
Nine U.S. lawmakers have joined Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in support of the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act. 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 first unveiled the bill in December last year. In July, Senators Warren, Marshall, Manchin, and Graham reintroduced the bill. Experts have called the bill the most direct attack on the personal freedom and privacy of crypto users. Last week, U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Gary Peters (D-MI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tina Smith (D-MN), Angus King (I-ME), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CN), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) announced that they also support 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.
This bill is also endorsed by the Bank Policy Institute, Transparency International U.S., Global Financial Integrity, National District Attorneys Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, AARP, National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients), and 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.
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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