US Senator Margaret Hassan has urged government agencies “to take additional targeted steps to prevent and prosecute the use of cryptocurrency for criminal purposes.” She expressed concern about “the increase in the use of cryptocurrency for criminal purposes”.
U.S. Senator urges authorities to take steps to prevent and prosecute the use of crypto for criminal purposes
U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday expressing concern about the criminal use of cryptocurrencies. Garland is the 86th Secretary of Justice, the country’s top law enforcement officer who heads the Department of Justice (DOJ). Senator Hasan wrote:
I am writing to express my concern about the increase in the use of cryptocurrency for criminal purposes and I ask your authorities to take additional targeted steps to prevent and prosecute the use of cryptocurrency for criminal purposes.
The letter was also sent to Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Charles Rettig, Commissioner for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS); Gary Gensler, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); and Himamauli Das, acting director of the Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
In her letter, Hassan mentioned that the city of Peterborough, New Hampshire suffered a cyber attack last month and $ 2.3 million in taxpayers’ money was stolen, noting that most of the funds were converted into cryptocurrencies.
The New Hampshire Senator claimed:
The anonymity of the cryptocurrency has helped make it easier for criminals to use it in a variety of ways. These uses include drug sales over the dark web, payments for ransomware attacks, tax evasion, terrorism and organized crime financing, money laundering, and more.
She then pointed out that decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges have less stringent Know-Your-Customer (KYC) requirements than centralized ones, stressing that “some have no KYC requirements at all”. The Senator then referred to “Recent Studies” [which] found that many exchanges, both centralized and decentralized, have weak KYC requirements. “
Hassan said, “It is clear that more robust KYC requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency kiosks and OTC cryptocurrency trading desks could improve transparency in the US and global cryptocurrency markets and encourage other countries to follow our example in requesting KYC information from users follow these services. ”She stated:
This, in turn, could prevent the illegal use of this novel financial technology while allowing the legitimate use of cryptocurrencies to flourish overall.
The Senator finished her letter by asking the Attorney General eight questions, many of which concerned additional powers required to regulate cryptocurrency trading.
She also asked if “additional civil or criminal penalties” would help the agencies “efforts to prevent and prosecute the criminal use of cryptocurrency.”
What do you think of Senator Hassan’s question? Let us know in the comment section below.
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