Home / Headlines / Criminalizing Bitcoin Users? US Congress Holds Hearing to ‘Modernize’ AML Laws Today
2 min read

Criminalizing Bitcoin Users? US Congress Holds Hearing to ‘Modernize’ AML Laws Today

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:02 PM
Rebecca Campbell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:02 PM

The U.S. Senate Judiciary is to hold a full panel hearing today on modernizing anti-money laundering (AML) laws with the inclusion of digital currencies.

Scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. at the Dirksen Senate Office Building 226, in Washington D.C., Bill S1241 : Modernizing AML Laws to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing will be up for discussion. It will be chaired by Chuck Grassley, a senior U.S. Senator from Iowa, and the current chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the 115th Congress.

The section that is of concern relates to Section 13, focusing on the use of digital currencies. Interestingly, while the meeting was listed on the Senate Judiciary webpage, keen-eyed bitcoiners discovered  the event was only added to the U.S. Senate Hearing page at 6 p.m. yesterday.

In light of the planned hearing, many are calling for the removal of digital currencies from Bill S1241. According to the Abolish the BitLicense advocacy group , the adding of the words digital currency is just a way of ‘criminalizing any Intangible Commodity enthusiast,’ adding:

By adding “digital currency” in the text, it would essentially raise the suspicion that any transaction is an illegitimate transaction. Contrary to all the instruments listed, digital currency is the only one that doesn’t have an explanation of legitimate use.

It adds that this then opens the door to repercussions for the market and for those trading in digital currencies such as bitcoin.

There will be two panels, totaling seven witnesses at the full hearing. These include Kenneth Blanco, the acting assistant attorney general of the criminal division at the U.S. Department of Justice; Jennifer Fowler, deputy assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes at the U.S. Department of the Treasury; and Kathryn Haun Rodriguez, a member of the board of directors at Coinbase.

CCN.com will be covering these events as they unfold, with full coverage later today.

Featured image from Shutterstock.