Nine New Sponsors Join Elizabeth Warren’s Efforts to Combat Money Laundering in Digital Assets

Nine New Sponsors Join Elizabeth Warren's Efforts to Combat Money Laundering in Digital Assets

United States Senators Support Elizabeth Warren’s Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren has gained the backing of nine other senators for her Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, which intends to address the perceived dangers associated with digital currencies. The coalition supporting the bill includes Democratic Senators Gary Peters, Dick Durbin, Tina Smith, Jeanne Shaheen, Bob Casey, Richard Blumenthal, Michael Bennet, and Catherine Cortez Masto, as well as independent Senator Angus King.

In a statement, Senator Warren expressed concern about how digital currencies enable illicit activities such as money laundering, sanctions evasion, and cyberattacks. She stated the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act as the most stringent proposition to crack down on crypto’s illicit use and provide regulators with more tools.

The bill was at the beginning introduced in December a year ago and was resubmitted in August 2023. It intends to close regulatory loopholes and bring digital currency corporations into greater compliance by subjecting them to Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements outlined in the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).

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Cracking Down on Non-Custodial Wallets

The legislation in particular  targets noncustodial or “unhosted” cryptocurrency wallets that allow users to have total independent control over their digital assets. Banks and money service enterprises would be required to verify customer identities, keep records, and file reports for certain digital asset transactions involving unhosted wallets or wallets hosted in non-compliant jurisdictions.

The bill likewise mandates that United States residents with more than $10,000 in cryptocurrency held in accounts outside of the country must submit reports. Senator Lindsey Graham emphasized the need for transparency and oversight in an industry that can facilitate criminal activity.

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Warren’s Criticism of Cryptocurrencies

Senator Warren has been a vocal critic of digital currencies. In a previous opinion piece, she suggested that cryptocurrency investors played a role in the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. She has likewise argued that digital currencies are the preferred illicit finance tool for ransomware gangs, fentanyl traffickers, and countries like North Korea.

Hot Take: Elizabeth Warren Gains Support for Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren has received support from nine other senators for her Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act. The bill intends to address the perceived dangers associated with digital currencies and bring greater compliance to the industry. It targets noncustodial wallets and requires banks and money service enterprises to verify identities and report certain digital asset transactions. Warren’s criticism of digital currencies stems from their alleged engagement in illicit activities. With the expanded coalition supporting her bill, Warren believes Congress is ready to take action against crypto’s illicit use.

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