U.S. Senators are increasing the anti-crypto rhetoric again, urging federal agencies to take action against the illicit use of digital assets. Some U.S. Senators are increasing the anti-crypto rhetoric and urging federal agencies take action against illicit digital asset use.
Senator Maggie Hassan, Democrat from Massachusetts, is the latest to voice concerns over cryptocurrency being used as a payment method for ransomware attacks.
On Sept. 16, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee wrote a letter to several agencies, including the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
She expressed her concern about a recent case from New Hampshire, where $2.3 million was stolen during a cyber-attack on Peterborough. The money was then converted to cryptocurrency.
“Crypto anonymity has made it easier for criminals to use cryptocurrency in many ways.” These include drug sales via the dark web, ransomware attacks payments, tax evasion and financing terrorism and organized crime.
She explained the differences between centralized exchanges that require KYC (know your customer) and decentralized exchanges, as well as OTC (overthe counter) desks that do not have such requirements. She also stated that more KYC enforcement was necessary.
Senator Hassan asked several questions about the actions of agencies to stop ransomware and cryptocurrencies being used for illicit purposes.
Hassan, along with Senator Elizabeth Warren, is a member the Senate Finance Committee. This committee is responsible for taxation and revenue, trade agreements, and tariffs.
Related: Don’t blame crypto ransomware
As regulatory pressure builds in the U.S., lawmakers from both sides have been arguing for and against cryptocurrency.
Cynthia Lummis, Senator of Kentucky, stated that her vision was to establish a regulatory and legislative framework.
“We want to ensure that Bitcoin, stablecoins and tokens can invent and that the U.S. Dollar can also innovate and become a digital currency. There will be formats people can use that are more user-friendly than the more traditional forms of currency.
Early August, Senators Ron Wyden and Cynthia Lummis proposed an amendment to controversial infrastructure bill to clarify the crypto tax provisions. This was to ensure that it wouldn’t stifle innovation.
The Senate passed the bill on August 10, with the language that broadly classified most actors as crypto brokers remaining unchanged. If the bipartisan infrastructure bill passes, as Nancy Pelosi has scheduled, a final vote will be held on September 27. This could mean that software firms, network validateators, stakers and miners may have to report third-party taxes.