Senate money laundering bills continue to duel, Dems get 9 new sponsors

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Roger Marshall have recruited nine new Democratic co-sponsors for their Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2023, a bill some industry advocates say could effectively kill crypto in the US. 

Two committee heads joined the effort and signed onto the legislation: Homeland Security Chair Gary Peters, D-Mich., and Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin, D-Ill. The other new co-sponsors are Sens. Tina Smith, D-Minn.; Angus King, I-Maine; Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; Bob Casey, D-Pa.; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; and Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.

Warren and Marshall reintroduced the bill last month after an initial version of the text was unsuccessful last congressional session. 

The legislation aims to bring “crypto participants” — defined in the bill as wallet providers, miners and validators — under compliance requirements for financial institutions. If the bill passes, these entities will have to file reports for any transactions exceeding $10,000 and report any activity that could signify money laundering or tax evasion. 

Warren called the legislation “a bill that would close loopholes in anti-money laundering rules, cutting off drug suppliers and cartels from using crypto to facilitate their illegal business,” she said in a July statement. 

The bill’s adversaries argue that these requirements are too strict and difficult to impose on these parties. 

“The bill effectively removes validators and miners from the US to the detriment of consumer safety and security,” Cody Carbone, vice president of policy at the Chamber of Digital Commerce said. 

Also in the Senate is the Crypto Asset National Security Enhancement Act of 2023, introduced in July and similar to Warren and Marshall’s text. The Crypto Asset National Security Enhancement Act of 2023, as of now, has more bipartisan support. It is sponsored by Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I.; Mark Warner, D-Va.; Mike Rounds, R-S.D.; and Mitt Romney, R-Utah. 

“Luckily, [the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2023] still remains a largely partisan effort and does not have support to be enacted,” Carbone added.

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