Growing Support for Senator Warren's Anti-Money Laundering Crypto Bill

Police & Regulations
Sep 19, 2023 at 10:51 am

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a prominent critic of cryptocurrencies in the U.S. Senate, has garnered support from influential figures for her proposed legislation aimed at combatting money laundering through crypto transactions. This bipartisan bill, however, is still pending approval from the Senate Banking Committee.

Senator Warren, representing Massachusetts, has secured endorsements from key lawmakers, including Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, and Senator Gary Peters of Michigan, leading the Homeland Security panel. They join a growing coalition advocating for a law targeting money laundering and sanctions violations within the crypto sphere.

Despite gathering sponsors, including Senator Durbin and Senator Peters, the fate of the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act remains uncertain due to a divided Congress and an approaching contentious election year. While the House of Representatives has made strides with two crypto-related bills, neither aligns completely with Warren’s initiative.

Crypto advocacy groups have been actively opposing the legislation, asserting that it could stifle digital asset innovation in the U.S. at the expense of market security, according to arguments put forth by the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

Introduced in July, the comprehensive bill proposes extending anti-money laundering regulations outlined in the Bank Secrecy Act to encompass providers of digital asset wallets, crypto miners, validators, and other participants in the network. Among its original co-sponsors were Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, known for his bipartisan approach on significant legislative matters, along with initial Republican supporters Senator Roger Marshall of Kansas and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Surprisingly, Warren’s endeavor has found support from an unexpected quarter: Wall Street bankers. Lobbyists from this industry, including representatives from the Bank Policy Institute, have expressed their endorsement.

While the bill's progress this year may be limited, some of Warren’s concerns regarding money laundering have been addressed through an amendment to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

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