Banking lobbyists have aligned themselves with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, supporting her efforts to combat crypto’s role in money laundering, drug trafficking, terrorism financing, and support to rogue nations. Trade group The Bank Policy Institute (BPI) has thrown its weight behind legislation reintroduced by Senator Warren and a group of three other senators aimed at tightening regulations on the cryptocurrency industry.
Senator Warren and BPI on Crypto Regulation
The bipartisan bill has garnered support from West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, and Republican Senators Roger Mashall of Kansas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. It represents a significant step towards addressing the concerns surrounding digital assets and their potential misuse for illegal activities.
Senator Warren, known for her unwavering advocacy of stricter banking regulations since the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, finds a surprising ally in BPI. The lobbying group emphasized the need for existing anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act frameworks to encompass digital assets fully. BPI expressed its commitment to participate in the legislative process to safeguard the nation’s financial system from illicit finance in any form. Notably, BPI boasts prominent banking institutions in its membership, including Bank of America, Citibank, and Capital One.
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Expanding Bank Secrecy Act
The bill’s provisions seek to expand Bank Secrecy Act requirements to encompass digital asset wallet providers, miners, validators, and other participants in the cryptocurrency market. Additionally, it aims to empower the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to compel cryptocurrency ATM operators to regularly submit and update the physical addresses of their kiosks.
Senator Warren’s crusade against illicit activity in the crypto market is well-documented. As the most vocal legislator advocating for crypto regulation, she insists on bolstering federal regulatory authority to ensure that the industry adheres to the same standards as traditional finance. In a compelling op-ed from 2022, Senator Warren warned that inadequate crypto regulation could potentially destabilize the economy, highlighting the urgency of her mission.
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The alliance between banking lobbyists and Senator Warren underscores the growing recognition of the need to address crypto-related risks and illicit activities effectively. As the debate over crypto regulations intensifies, this bipartisan collaboration may pave the way for significant changes in the digital asset landscape and enhance the overall integrity of the financial system.