US Treasury Nominee: Preventing Crypto Money Laundering a Priority

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In Brief
  • U.S. Treasury Nominee states that he would make the flouting of AML laws using cryptocurrencies a priority.

  • U.S. officials have been raising the question of cybercrime with respect to cryptocurrencies in the past few months.

  • Other governments are also concerned about how cryptocurrencies may be used to facilitate illicit activity.

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The U.S. Treasury Department’s nominee for the head of terrorism and financial intelligence said in a confirmation hearing that he would focus on related regulation for cryptocurrencies.

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The U.S. Treasury Department’s nominee for the head of terrorism and financial intelligence division, Brian Nelson, offered a statement on the crypto market during a senate confirmation hearing. Nelson said that he would make the flouting of AML laws using cryptocurrencies a priority.

Cybercrime and cryptocurrencies

Nelson was asked a question about the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020, and he responded by saying that he would subsequently work on regulating currencies, whatever form they may take. Specifically, he said,

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“If I am confirmed, I will prioritize implementing that piece of legislation, including new regulations around cryptocurrency.”

U.S. officials have been raising the question of cybercrime with respect to crypto in the past few months, following a report that the Biden administration was making a cryptocurrency regulatory framework. Authorities have also made it a point to bring up cryptocurrency use in cybercrime, with reports emerging right before the G7 Summit.

The company handling the U.S. Colonial Pipeline was also subject to hacking by the hacking group DarkSide. The group asked for a ransom in bitcoin, which the company was forced to pay. However, U.S. officials have recovered a vast majority of the funds. Such incidents have spurred regulation and scrutiny of the cryptocurrency market.

Global cooperation and action underway

Other governments and groups are also concerned about how cryptocurrencies may be used to facilitate illicit activity. Among these is the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The FATF is a global body that is concerned with the implementation of laws that would prevent terror financing, among other things. Officials from the body have reportedly spoken to authorities in Malta, concerned over potential oversights in the country’s regulatory framework. Malta, known as ‘Blockchain Island’ for its crypto-friendly framework, was one of the first nations to set up a broad regulatory framework to attract entrepreneurs and businesses.

The cryptocurrency industry is currently set to face some heavy regulation and investigation by governments across the world. The actions that have been taken from countries such as China, Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. have all affected various aspects of the industry.

Securities regulation has been one major newsmaker in recent weeks, with the Ontario Securities Commission targeting KuCoin and Poloniex, among others. This follows in the footsteps of the U.S., where the SEC is involved in a case against Ripple, having already forced the Telegram Open Network (TON) to shut down.

China, meanwhile, has turned its sights on the mining industry, ordering operations to be shut down in several regions. Most significantly, however, it has asked banks to stop facilitating transactions related to cryptocurrencies, which put a severe dent in the market.

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Rahul's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014. With a postgraduate degree in finance, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has guided a number of startups to navigate the complex digital marketing and media outreach landscapes. His work has even influenced distinguished cryptocurrency exchanges and DeFi platforms worth millions of dollars.

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