Former officials with the United States government and military have warned lawmakers against supporting an Anti-Money Laundering bill proposed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, citing national security concerns.
In a Feb. 13 letter, 80 individuals — many of whom had been involved with the U.S. military or government — signed their names with the Blockchain Association’s (BA’s) opposition to Senator Warren’s Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act (DAAMLA). According to the letter, the legislation hindered law enforcement and presented national security concerns by “driving the majority of the digital asset industry overseas.”
“This shift could also lead to increased liquidity in unregulated offshore exchanges and a loss of valuable expertise and visibility for the U.S. in the blockchain realm,” said the letter. “Further, this legislation, if implemented, will have no meaningful effect on the foreign illicit actors it targets.”
1/ Today, we sent a new letter to Congress, supported by a doubled 80+ coalition of former military and national security professionals urging members to reconsider support for proposed legislation that could cripple the domestic digital assets industry.
— Blockchain Association (@BlockchainAssn) February 13, 2024
The letter’s signatures included Coinbase Chief Policy Officer Faryar Shirzad and former U.S. Army Reserve, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and Justice Department members. The BA letter appealed to six lawmakers leading the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee to “recognize [their] high-standing records of military and public service.”
According to the BA, the letter came in response to a Dec. 18 letter from Senator Warren, in which she claimed the crypto industry had a “small army of former defense, national security and law enforcement officials” aimed at stymieing regulation of digital assets. The BA claimed the Massachusetts senator “questioned the motivations and integrity of scores of U.S. military and intelligence veterans.”
The DAAMLA bill, which Senator Warren reintroduced to the U.S. Senate in July 2023, specifically targets illicit uses of crypto assets for money laundering and financing terrorism. Many organizations and individuals, including the BA, have criticized the proposed legislation for exaggerating crypto’s role in funding terrorism and illicit activities.
“Digital assets and the underlying technology are pivotal to our nation’s strategic advantage,” said the 80 individuals who signed the BA letter. “The Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act (DAAMLA) risks our nation’s strategic advantage, threatens tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, and bears little effect on the illicit actors it targets.”
In the wake of the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Israel, many U.S. lawmakers backed efforts against organizations with ties to the terrorist group, including sanctions on connected crypto wallets. CryptoMoon reached out to Senator Warren’s office for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
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