Cryptocurrency Regulation a Priority Says Treasury Nominee

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  • Brian Nelson, Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, has said that one of his priorities is regulating cryptocurrency
  • Nelson said that it was important to tackle illegal activity while ensuring innovation did not leave the country
  • A second nominee, Elizabeth Rosenberg, highlighted the importance of international collaboration

Brian Nelson, President Biden’s pick for Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence has said that targeting money laundering through cryptocurrency would be one of his top priorities were he to be elected to the post. Nelson told the Senate Banking Committee in a confirmation hearing this week that cryptocurrency regulation would top his agenda, while another nominee, Elizabeth Rosenberg, stated that she would seek to work with international counterparts to ensure global standards of crypto regulation.

Cryptocurrency Regulation Needs to be Balanced

During the hearing, Nelson was asked how he would work with federal regulators to crack down on illegal use of cryptocurrencies. Nelson responded by saying that he would prioritise implementing “new regulations around cryptocurrency”, ensuring that cryptocurrencies came under the bank secrecy act.

However, Nelson also spoke of the need to balance this approach with innovation stating that new anti-money laundering tools were able to “prevent virtual currency and other types of new technology from undermining our anti-money laundering system while also being respectful of the fact that we need to support responsible innovation.”

International Collaboration Essential

Rosenberg added that if nominated she would seek to engage consumer protection groups as well as “coordinating with international counterparts” to ensure that there was global consistency when it comes to cryptocurrency regulation. Noting that the new breed of ransomware threats “hurt people and hurt institutions”, Rosenberg added that without international collaboration it would remain easy for criminal enterprises to carry out their activities outside the reach of the U.S.

Cryptocurrency regulation has become something of a theme for the Biden administration, particularly after the recent ransomware attacks that hit gas and livestock supplies in the country.