US Community on Alert over Draft Law that Could Give Treasury Sweeping Powers over Crypto
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Crypto-advocating lawyers and pro-crypto pressure groups are gearing up for a fresh fight in Washington – as another piece of legislation that could potentially restrict the sector’s ability to grow has appeared on the political landscape. However, one influential lawyer has claimed that the crypto community should “not lose any sleep” over the matter.
Last year, the crypto community attempted to fight back against a clause in the infrastructure bill that sought to classify crypto sector participants such as miners and developers as “brokers.” But now, the head of Coin Center Jerry Brito warned on Twitter, a new piece of draft law named the America COMPETES Act contains clauses that are potentially “disastrous for cryptocurrency.”
The section of the bill was put forward by the Democratic Party Congressman Jim Himes, who, per an official release, has suggested that authorities should “streamline the process by which special measures may be introduced” and “modernize the authorities granted to the [regulatory] Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).”
Specifically, he explained that the FinCEN, if his proposal were made law, would allow the agency “to pursue bad actors like those laundering the proceeds of Chinese ransomware and/or declared a Primary Money Laundering Concern due to support to North Korea’s sanctions evasion.”
The release’s authors noted that the provision was “similar to an amendment” Himes proposed to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, which had “passed the House.”
But Brito claimed that such powers would “essentially” grant the Treasury “unchecked and unilateral power to ban exchanges and other financial institutions from engaging in cryptocurrency transactions.”
He added that allowing the Treasury to take “special measures” meant that it would be able to “require financial institutions to report information on the concern,” as well as “prohibiting” them from “maintaining accounts related to the concern.”