Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has called on the US Congress to provide regulators, such as the SEC, with the necessary means to regulate the cryptocurrency industry. She believes the current legal structure is attracting money launderers and wants Congress to empower regulators to be an “effective cop on the beat.” Warren will re-introduce her “Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2022,” which aims to apply the same anti-money laundering rules to the crypto industry as in other financial sectors.
Senator Focuses on Crypto Money Laundering
In a recent interview with Politico’s Morning Money, Warren stated that her main focus in terms of cryptocurrency legislation is cracking down on money laundering. The senator explained that while fraud is more visible to the public, money laundering occurs in the shadows of the crypto world, but its impact on national security and law enforcement is immense.
SEC Chairman Supports Crypto Regulation
The Chairman of the SEC, Gary Gensler, has echoed Warren’s views and has stated that the crypto industry should be treated the same as other capital markets. He also promised to bring enforcement actions against non-compliant crypto firms and serve as the “cop on the beat.”
Warren Urges Action on Consumer Fraud
Warren also acknowledged the problem of consumer fraud in the crypto industry, citing the collapse of crypto exchange FTX and other similar cases. She believes that while there are already regulatory tools in place, regulators need resources to be effective, and Congress must ensure they have the necessary support.
Warren’s Skepticism of Crypto is Not New
Elizabeth Warren has been a long-time critic of cryptocurrencies and has warned about the risks of a potential run on crypto that could lead to a federal bailout. She also raised concerns about the environmental impact of bitcoin mining and has urged Congress and the Treasury to adopt a policy to mitigate such risks. She recently called on Fidelity Investments to stop offering bitcoin as an option in 401(k) retirement accounts following the collapse of crypto exchange FTX.