Senator Elizabeth Warren recently announced her intention to reintroduce a bill that addresses money laundering regulations.
The Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2021, as it is known, will expand the scope of enforcement and monitoring of suspicious criminal activity.
This bill would help to ensure that companies and individuals who engage in financial crimes are held accountable.
However, she did not go into further detail about other aspects of the planned bill.
United States Senator Elizabeth Warren recently announced that a bi-partisan Anti-Money Laundering (AML) bill, which covers “decentralized entities” such as decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), is set to be reintroduced to Congress.
At the Senate Banking Committee hearing titled "Crypto Crash: Why Financial System Safeguards are Needed for Digital Assets" on February 14th, Warren stated that the crypto community is seeking an exemption from AML requirements for decentralized entities running on code. She stated,
“To put it another way, they want to create a sizable legal loophole for DeFi so they can launder money whenever a drug lord or a terrorist offers to pay them to do so.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren has announced her intention to reintroduce the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2022, which she first proposed on December 15, 2022. The bill was read twice before being referred to the Senate Banking Committee but has since failed to gain any further traction.
If passed, the seven-page bill would prohibit financial institutions from using digital asset mixers, such as Tornado Cash, which are designed to obscure blockchain data. This proposed legislation would be a major step forward in the fight against money laundering and other illicit activities.
AML procedures would also have had to be written and put into effect for validators, miners, and unhosted wallets.
The Senator claimed to ShapeShift, a cryptocurrency exchange, took advantage of the lack of regulation when it rebuilt itself as a DeFi platform in July 2021, noting that present AML laws "don't cover major sectors of the crypto industry."n speaking at the “Crypto Crash” committee hearing on Feb. 14. Source: U.S. Senate Banking Committee.
“The change is being made, quote, "to remove itself from regulated activity. Money laundering here is the phrase.”
Crypto was "the technique of choice for international drug traffickers," North Korean hackers, and ransomware attacks, according to Warren, who also asserted that "big-time financial criminals love crypto." Warren continued:
"We only know about a portion of the unlawful transactions that the cryptocurrency market saw last year, which total $20 billion."
These figures are corroborated by a January 12th report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, which found that the total cryptocurrency value received by illicit addresses had reached a staggering $20.1 billion by the end of 2022.
At a Counter-Terrorism Committee meeting in October 2022, a United Nations official noted that while cash remains the preferred choice for financing terrorists, they are increasingly turning to cryptocurrency as an alternative.
Furthermore, North Korean hackers operating with the Lazarus Group have faced significant obstacles in their attempts to use cryptocurrency on exchanges such as Binance and Huobi, both of which have frozen accounts they deemed to be linked to the hacker group.
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