By James Sweet III | USA
Cryptocurrencies, the most notable being Bitcoin, are the best way to put your money into private, digital assets. Bitcoin has been skyrocketing lately, with the rate, at the time this article was written, being $10,909 for 1 Bitcoin. Investments in Bitcoin continue for many reasons. However, a common reason among holders of Bitcoin is that Bitcoin provides a hideaway from the failing, centralized United States and the Federal Reserve. The government, being the party crashers that they are, wishes to stop this, and is already beginning the process of invading your privacy yet again.
Currently, Anti-Money Laundering laws do not extend to cryptocurrencies. Senate Bill 1241 wishes to change this. The bill would include “an issuer, redeemer, or cashier of prepaid access devices, digital currency, or any digital exchanger or tumbler of digital currency” under the definition of a “financial institution”. By doing so, cryptocurrencies would be subjected to the same regulation and oversight as stated in current Anti-Money Laundering laws that actual financial institutions face. By doing so, this may worry some investors and holders of cryptocurrencies.
You know how it is illegal to not disclose your financial assets? Well, it will become illegal to not disclose your digital assets if this bill passes. Scary, right? Don’t fret, though. The short title of this bill? The “Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act of 2017”. By proposing a bill that seems to protect American assets, as well as stopping the financing of terrorists, supporters of this bill seem like good people. However, it is still not known how by not disclosing your private assets, one is funding terrorists or committing counterfeit. After all, it requires almost an impossible amount of computing power to counterfeit cryptocurrencies, as you do not give the actual cryptocurrency, unlike US Dollars, where you give a physical copy. As every client has a copy of the list of transactions in the Blockchain, it is useless to attempt to counterfeit.
What exactly is the government protecting us from? The author of the bill, Senator Chuck Grassley, seems to think from terrorists. How? Who knows. It seems very likely that this is just an attempt by the government to look into, yet again, another part of our lives. The bill currently resides with the Senate Judicial Committee, with the latest action, hearings, being on November 28th. If this bill does indeed pass the Committee, one can only hope that a brave senator can stop this bill. Only time will tell the fate of the privacy of cryptocurrencies.
To read Senate Bill 1241, click here.