More US senators back Elizabeth Warren’s AML bill targeting crypto
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, an outspoken critic of digital assets in the United States government, has announced that five more senators have agreed to cosponsor one of her bills aimed at cracking down on money laundering.
In a Dec. 11 announcement, Sen. Warren said Senators Raphael Warnock, Laphonza Butler, Chris Van Hollen, John Hickenlooper and Ben Ray Luján had backed her Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, reintroduced in July. According to Warren, the legislation specifically targeted illicit uses of crypto assets for money laundering and financing terrorism.
“I’m glad that five new senators are joining the fight to take action, including three members of the Banking Committee,” said Sen. Warren. “Our bipartisan bill is the toughest proposal on the table cracking down on crypto’s illicit use and giving regulators more tools in their toolbox.”
The bill already had bipartisan support from several senators and organizations, including the Bank Policy Institute, Massachusetts Bankers Association, Transparency International U.S., Global Financial Integrity, National District Attorneys Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, the National Consumer Law Center and the National Consumers League. In the announcement, Warren reiterated a claim she made in a Dec. 6 hearing of the Senate Banking Committee and subsequent interviews: that roughly half of North Korea’s missile program was funded by digital assets.
The Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act is a direct attack on technological progress and also a direct attack on our personal privacy and autonomy.
Make no mistake, while proposed as a solution to potential money laundering and terrorist financing, the bill is in fact a… pic.twitter.com/8oID1wECGL
— Neeraj K. Agrawal (@NeerajKA) December 11, 2023
Critics of the bill have suggested that lawmakers focus on bad actors utilizing the technology rather than digital assets and their underlying infrastructure. Steve Weisman, a cybersecurity expert, backed the legislation in a November Senate hearing, calling it a “no-brainer” to address money laundering concerns.