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Warren Criticizes Crypto’s Role in Sanction Evasion: Max Keiser’s Response Ruffles Regulatory Feathers

Last Updated January 22, 2024 12:58 PM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated January 22, 2024 12:58 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Elizabeth Warren recently cited a U.S. GAO report in a manner that cast cryptocurrencies negatively.
  • Max Keiser called Warren a “moron” for her stance on cryptocurrencies.
  • The GAO report noted, among other things, that crypto can be used to trace illicit actors.

Senator Elizabeth Warren recently cited  the U.S. Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) report  in a manner that cast cryptocurrencies negatively, despite the report itself presenting a more contrasting perspective on the subject.

This didn’t sit well with a prominent figure in the cryptocurrency world, Max Keiser, who called her “a moron” .

Max Keiser Rips Elizabeth Warren, Says Bitcoin Can’t Be Stopped

Max Keiser has always been expressive  when it comes to intense criticism of Senator Elizabeth Warren regarding her stance on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Keiser’s disdain is evident as he usually uses strong language to describe his feelings, saying he loathes Warren, whom he refers to as “Lucifer’s mistress,” “inner right-hand executioner,” and lately “a moron “.

He asserted that despite efforts by Warren and the SEC, they cannot stop Bitcoin’s growth.

Keiser used to emphasize  the increasing acceptance of Bitcoin, highlighting its promotion of freedom, liberty, and free markets. He criticized Warren and other statists for their attempts to control individual financial decisions, contrasting this with others who embrace the technology for its alignment with American values of freedom.

Keiser further compared the authoritarian approach towards Bitcoin  and cryptocurrencies to the dislike for public figures like Joe Rogan, who are seen as outside of governmental control. He warns that the current U.S. administration might target the crypto community, drawing parallels with China’s ban on Bitcoin.

He went on accusing Warren of being against Bitcoin  because it challenges her control, a sentiment he believes is shared by authoritarian regimes. He concludes by questioning Warren’s commitment to equity and financial inclusion, labeling her a fraud and blaming her for consigning the U.S. to a bleak future, using derogatory language to express his frustration with her policies.

He stated :

“Elizabeth Warren is becoming less valuable as time goes by and here we go. People who think Bitcoin is fraudulent or a Ponzi should really spend just a little bit of time looking into the dollar and modern currencies.”

Coinbase CCO Slams GAO for ‘Unfair’ Crypto Sanctions Report

He pointed out  that, within the report itself, there are acknowledgments, albeit buried in the links, that digital assets are, in fact, a relatively ineffective method for circumventing sanctions.

The report by the GAO , released on December 13, 2023, followed by the federal government’s response on January 16, asserts that numerous foreign nations under U.S. sanctions have resorted to using cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, as a means to circumvent these sanctions.

Report says :

“Digital assets like Bitcoin and other virtual currencies pose risks to implementing and enforcing U.S. sanctions, but several factors partially mitigate these risks. A key feature of digital assets is enabling users to rapidly transfer value across countries’ borders.”

Warren Uses GAO Report to Push Stricter Regulations

Despite acknowledging the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies in the same report, the GAO conceded that the decentralized nature and public ledger system of cryptocurrencies could assist U.S. agencies and analytics firms in tracing transactions to potentially identify illicit actors. The report also recognized  the limitations of digital assets as a means of payment and suggested that the implementation of global standards could enhance compliance with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.

However, despite these acknowledgments, Senator Elizabeth Warren, known for her critical stance on cryptocurrencies, used the report  to cast a negative light on the industry. Warren is currently advocating for legislation that would require crypto companies to adhere to the same AML regulations as traditional financial institutions, further intensifying the regulatory scrutiny on the crypto sector.

People were quick to point out  to Senator Elizabeth Warren that the report she referenced cited only a single instance of cryptocurrencies being used to evade sanctions, and the involved party was from China.

Global Regulators Move to Tighten Crypto AML Regulations

Major regulatory bodies and policymakers across the globe have been actively working to bring cryptocurrency operations in line with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) guidelines. In Europe, this effort is exemplified by the passage of the Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation. Similarly, Asian countries, including Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore, have instituted stringent regulations for crypto service providers.

Another crucial aspect, often overlooked or neglected in many reports, is the relatively small scale of cryptocurrency use in illicit activities. Less than 1%  of the total circulating crypto supply is involved in such activities, a proportion significantly lower than that of traditional fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar. Additionally, the public ledger system inherent to cryptocurrencies has often hindered the movement of stolen or hacked funds, sometimes taking years for perpetrators to transfer them. In numerous instances, these funds have been identified and subsequently blocked by cryptocurrency exchanges, demonstrating the efficacy of the public ledger system in combating illegal transactions.

While the United States has not yet finalized a comprehensive set of regulations for cryptocurrencies, despite persistent demands from several policymakers, there are existing regulatory policies that govern crypto service providers. These policies are in place to oversee and manage the operations of cryptocurrency-related businesses within the country.

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