Crypto Policy Passed Through Senate Inches Closer to Becoming Law

We are only halfway through 2024 and unless you have been living under a rock you are aware that this year is an election year. Whether it be signs posted in front of homes and businesses or the never-ending stream of political advertisements on TV and radio, the US presidential election (and all the lesser elections that come with it) is incoming.

Cryptocurrency regulation is not necessarily near the top of the list of issues voters want to hear Biden and Trump discuss, but it is a hot-button issue nonetheless. The United States is still lagging behind other countries when it comes to the regulation and legal oversight of the crypto industry, and this is having an impact on the way exchanges both in the US and abroad do business. It is true that we have not seen much in the way of movement when it comes to establishing a set of rules and regulation governing the distribution and trading of crypto in the United States, but a secret provision in a recently passed bill might change that.

Senate Approves Crypto Provision Amid Little Fanfare

Any time high-ranking members of the US government weigh in on cryptocurrency it seems as though the world stops and listens, trying to glean whatever they can from the comments made. Though this is true time and time again, what is also true is that nothing any high-ranking official has ever said effected change in the way cryptocurrency trading is overseen in the US. This week however, the US crypto landscape was shifted thanks to a provision tucked away within the Senate select committee on intelligence’s budget for the next fiscal year.

The budget was unanimously approved and it was not until the dust had settled that the crypto-related provision was spotted. The provision would, according to Coindesk, “speed and automate the process to sanction ‘foreign digital asset transaction facilitators’—including crypto exchanges—that are linked to users who support terrorism groups.”

The purpose of the crypto provision is to combat adversarial nations who use advanced technology to fund terrorism through US channels. Many believe this was added thanks to the rise in ransomware attacks where those doing the attacking request a ransom payment in the form of cryptocurrency.

Whether this provision makes it entirely through the budget process remains to be seen, but it is yet another indication that lawmakers are not turning a blind eye to crypto. At least as it relates to making sure bad actors are not profiting from crypto activities conducted in the United States.

The US Falling Behind on Crypto Oversight

In many ways, the secrecy of the abovementioned crypto provision and the overwhelming likelihood that it still does not get signed into law typifies how the US has handled legal oversight on crypto. On one hand, lawmakers recognize that crypto is not going away and is something that will only grow in popularity with time, but on the other hand the overall lack of inaction speaks volumes.

People across the world still view the US crypto sector as the Wild West, and lawmakers seem content to let Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other crypto assets languish in a world of “grey areas”.

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