U.S. Senator Get Nine New Sponsors For Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has garnered backing from nine additional senators for her Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, bolstering her campaign to address the perceived risks associated with cryptocurrencies.

Elizabeth Warren has been one of the most vocal lawmakers when it comes to regulating digital assets. According to a press release on Warren's official website, Senators Bob Casey, Dick Durbin, Michael Bennet, Jeanne Shaheen, Gary Peters, Angus King, Catherine Cortez Masto, Richard Blumenthal, and Tina Smith, hailing from the Democratic Party and one independent senator, have united to endorse the bill.

The statement from Senator Warren reads: Crypto is enabling rogue nations, drug lords, ransomware gangs, and fraudsters to launder billions in stolen funds, evade sanctions, fund illegal weapons programs, and profit from devastating cyberattacks”.

Besides, Senator Elizabeth Warren also referred to the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act as the toughest proposal on the table cracking down on crypto’s illicit use and giving regulators more tools in their toolbox”. She further added that the expanded coalition is a sign that Congress is now ready to take action.

Initially introduced in December of the previous year and reintroduced in August 2023, this bill, in collaboration with Senators Lindsey Graham, Joe Manchin, and Roger Marshall, seeks to eliminate regulatory gaps and enhance compliance within the digital asset sphere.

Should it gain approval, the legislation would broaden the regulatory framework, currently applicable to conventional financial institutions, to encompass cryptocurrency enterprises. This would entail imposing Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) mandates as outlined in the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) upon digital asset wallet providers, miners, validators, and related entities.

The document's primary objective is to address noncustodial, also known as "unhosted," cryptocurrency wallets. These wallets are defined as "software or hardware that facilitates the storage of public and private keys necessary for digitally signing and securely conducting transactions with digital assets, whereby the stored value belongs to the wallet owner, and the wallet owner maintains complete independent control over the value.”

Senator Warren's legislative proposition entails mandating banks and money service businesses to authenticate customer and counterparty identities, maintain transaction records, and submit reports for specific digital asset transactions. These transactions would involve unhosted wallets or wallets situated in non-BSA compliant jurisdictions.

As per the proposed legislation, individuals residing in the United States who hold over $10,000 worth of cryptocurrencies across one or multiple accounts located outside the country would also be obligated to file reports.

Warren has criticized cryptocurrencies for their alleged role in the Silicon Valley Bank collapse and their use in illicit activities like ransomware and drug trafficking. She believes many crypto actors do not follow anti-money laundering rules.