Elizabeth Warren Drafting Crypto Tracking Bill

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  • Senator Elizabeth Warren is drafting a bill that could allow greater tracking of cryptocurrency
  • Warren has already been outspoken about the ability for digital assets to be used to evade sanctions
  • Any such bill would further impinge on users’ privacy

Senator Elizabeth Warren has taken her fight against the crypto industry up a notch by working up a proposal to tighten the rules around anonymous use of cryptocurrencies. NBC reported yesterday that Warren’s plans would make it easier to verify individuals on either end of a cryptocurrency transaction, which echoes plans already drawn up by FinCen when the Trump administration was still in the White House. The move also echoes similar steps being taken by some European Parliament MPs this week.

Warren Continues On Sanctions Evasion Vibe

Warren has been vocal about what she perceives to be a clear and present danger of sanctioned Russian individuals using cryptocurrency to evade those freshly placed sanctions, even writing to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen last week about these risks.

The letter, which was co-signed by Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner, Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown, and Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed, warned that “digital assets, which allow entities to bypass the traditional financial system, may increasingly be used as a tool for sanctions evasion.”

While it is of course possible for individuals to attempt this, in the same way that they could also buy art, property, watches, and other assets, the potential for this to be carried out on a troubling scale has already been debunked. Nevertheless, this still seemingly hasn’t stopped Warren from taking the opportunity to further infringe on cryptocurrency users’ right to privacy, which of course is a key tenet of the cryptocurrency movement.

Move Echoes European Parliament Attempt

News of Warren’s proposal come two days after the two major factions of the European Parliament submitted their own policy blueprint that aims to extend the FATF Travel Ban, which prevents the anonymous sending of money or assets over the value of 1,000 EUR / 1,000 USD, to all cryptocurrency transactions of any value.

Belgian parliament member Assita Kanko and Spanish MEP Ernest Urtasun (Greens–European Free Alliance) were behind the blueprint, which some have called excessive and impractical.