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Crypto Shouldn’t Fear Warren: Anti-Crypto Bill Senator’s Legislation Has Low Passage Rate

Last Updated December 12, 2023 10:53 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated December 12, 2023 10:53 AM

Key Takeaways

  • Elizabeth Warren’s crypto bill has received bipartisan support, indicating potential progress toward crypto regulation.
  • However, only a tiny percentage of her introduced bills were incorporated into other bills or enacted into law.
  • Critics, such as Galaxy Research’s Alex Thorn argue decentralized software cannot comply with centralized KYC procedures.
  • Some view DAAMLA as a “direct attack” on technological progress and privacy.

In the ongoing efforts to establish crypto regulations in the United States, Senator Elizabeth Warren, together with other senators have collaborated on a bipartisan bill named the Digital Asset Anti Money Laundering Act (DAAMLA).

The Anti-Money Laundering bill for crypto has generated significant attention in the industry. However, critics highlight that Warren’s bills often don’t progress far.

Low Success Rate: Introducing 330 Bills, Only 1 Passes

GovTrack data reveals that out of the 330 bills introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren during her 11 years in office, ten were eventually incorporated into other bills .

Remarkably, only one bill, the National POW/MIA Flag Act , has been enacted into law . This act mandates the display of the prisoner of war/missing in action flag alongside the U.S. flag on certain federal properties.

According to the GovTrack :

“Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law.”

Often, members of Congress engage in various legislative activities such as proposing amendments and participating in committee work, which may not receive widespread attention from the public.

One of the Massachusetts Senator’s recent legislative efforts is the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, reintroduced in July. The objective of this bill is to address shortcomings in the nation’s anti-money laundering regulations by categorizing various crypto applications, including noncustodial wallets, and firms as financial institutions subject to regulation under the Bank Secrecy Act.

Up to this point, the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act has received bipartisan support . Additionally, five senators from Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Democratic Party have joined as co-sponsors of the bill on December 11th.

Fears of “Effective Ban” as Anti-Money Laundering Bill Advances

Opponents of the bill argue that it poses a threat to the crypto industry in the United States. Alex Thorn, the head of firmwide research at Galaxy Research, expressed concerns in a December 11 tweet  , stating that the bill would essentially function as an “effective ban” on Bitcoin and crypto.

He specifically highlighted provisions in the act that subject crypto wallet providers, miners, and validators to Know Your Customer requirements, asserting that decentralized software cannot feasibly carry out centralized compliance functions.

Warren’s Crypto Bill to Effectively Outlaw Crypto in America?

Neeraj Agrawal, the communications director at the crypto think tank Coin Center, took to Twitter to express his view that the bill represents a “direct attack on technological progress ” and personal privacy.

Agrawal contended that despite being presented as a solution to money laundering and terrorist financing concerns, the bill, in reality, contradicts liberal values.

He said: “The bill cannot be improved, it can only be opposed in its entirety.”

Holy Anti-Crypto War

Warren gained national recognition for her fervent advocacy against corruption in Big Finance. Following the Global Financial Crisis, she became well-known for championing more rigorous banking regulations, serving as the chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel overseeing the 2008 bank bailouts.

Warren  helped found the anti-corporate Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in 2011. The CFPB, whose funding structure is currently facing legal scrutiny , wields regulatory authority across the spectrum of American consumer finance.

However, it has recently extended its reach into speculative advocacy, positioning itself against crypto. The CFPB aims to shield teenagers from cryptocurrency exposure and has expressed concerns about private companies’ advertising spending on Super Bowl crypto ads . The new CFPB chair, Rohit Chopra, specifically highlighted stablecoins  as being used solely for speculative purposes and deemed them a “risk to the financial system.”

However, it has recently extended its reach into speculative advocacy, positioning itself against crypto. The CFPB aims to shield teenagers from cryptocurrency exposure and has expressed concerns about private companies’ advertising spending on Super Bowl crypto ads . The new CFPB chair, Rohit Chopra, specifically highlighted stablecoins  as being used solely for speculative purposes and deemed them a “risk to the financial system.”

Can Crypto Combat Anti-Crypto Populism?

Senator Warren’s framing of crypto as a playground for the wealthy resonates due to the industry’s failure to effectively communicate its potential strengths and benefits.

The crypto sector needs to re-evaluate how it measures success and market this technology responsibly. Instead of extravagant displays, it needs to prioritize inclusivity and demonstrate how crypto could empower everyone, not just the wealthy. The industry’s PR efforts will play a crucial role in defeating anti-crypto populism like Warren’s.

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