Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is pushing forward with a political campaign to regulate the crypto space, an industry that she and her coalition believe threatens national security.
According to a report from Politico, Warren is making national security the focus of her potential crypto legislation but is also citing other issues like consumer protections, sanctions evasion and environmental impact.
Says Warren’s spokesperson Alex Sarabia,
“The crypto industry has an army of lobbyists and Washington insiders fighting against bipartisan rules to prevent crypto money laundering by criminals and rogue nations like Iran and North Korea…
There’s no reason that crypto should be held to a lower standard and not comply with the same rules for the same activities to address the same risks.”
Warren told Politico that regulators already have the necessary tools to fight consumer fraud, but that “money laundering is in a different space.”
“The current legal structure essentially holds up a giant sign over crypto that says, money laundering done here.”
In September of last year, Warren issued a statement urging the Treasury to do anything it can to “rein in crypto.”
At the time, Warren said,
“I am deeply concerned by the volatility of the cryptocurrency market and the inadequate regulatory environment in which crypto scams, fraud, theft, and evasion continue to run rampant and mom-and-pop investors’ savings have evaporated.
I urge you to take steps, both in your capacity as Treasury Secretary and as Chair of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, to protect the integrity of the American sanctions regime, reduce the effects of climate change and the burden on our energy infrastructure, ensure the safety and stability of our financial system, and protect consumers and investors.”
Warren’s agenda to regulate crypto has attracted officials from across the aisle, including Louisiana Republican John Kennedy, who said he was concerned about former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and his lobbying efforts in Washington before the exchange ultimately collapsed.
“What matters to me is [Bankman-Fried] spread money around Capitol Hill like it was dishwater, and nobody stopped at the time to ask any relevant questions about this company.”
Roger Marshall, a Kansas Republican who is also on board with Warren, says that as a doctor, he believes the risks of crypto outweigh the benefits.
“The physician in me says the risks [of crypto] do not outweigh the benefits… Until they solve the national security issues, I don’t see the benefits outweigh the risks.”
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