Finance

Crypto advocates blast US defense bill for nixing proposals


The latest U.S. defense bill has left out two crypto regulatory law proposals to cover the parameters surrounding money laundering and examining financial institutions.

Per the recently published National Defense Authorization Act by U.S. lawmakers, crypto provisions seeking to build reports on the use of privacy coins and create an anti-money laundering measure among virtual currency service providers have been dropped. 

The bill, which the U.S. government is obligated to pass, was created from a joint effort between the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. While the Senate’s NDAA version carried the two crypto provisions, the House’s final draft excluded them.

The Chamber of Digital Commerce, a trade association dedicated to advancing the blockchain and crypto industry, called the decision “a missed opportunity.”

The amendments implemented by the Senate included a provision for the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a thorough examination and review system for financial institutions. The proposed system would have assessed the adequacy of reporting obligations for crypto assets under money-laundering rules and ensure compliance among firms.

Following the dismissal of the proposed rules and the estimated period the bill will cross the voting stage, the curtains may have closed on cryptocurrencies getting any regulatory modus operandi in the U.S. market. 

U.S. lawmakers have been calling for President Joe Biden to enact laws that curb the use of virtual currencies in terrorism. Earlier this week, Republican Senator Mitt Romney of Utah joined Virginia’s Mark R. Warner and Rhode Island’s Jack Reed — both Democrats — to propose legislation imposing sanctions on financial institutions using crypto to support terrorist groups.

As per the proposed legislation, lawmakers aim to prohibit or enforce stringent penalties on firms and institutions found to be involved in financing terrorism

Specifically, the draft law mandates that the President forbid any transaction between a financial institution and a banned entity using digital assets under the law. 

The bipartisan senators’ law proposals seemed to have grown from reports of Hamas, a group that’s considered a terrorist organization by the U.S. government, allegedly receiving over $90 million in crypto from its supporters.

Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic refutes the claims. Still, U.S. lawmakers don’t seem to be removing their foot off the gas pedal when it comes to enforcing sanctions via the Terrorist Financing Prevention Act of 2023.


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