US Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) has reiterated her stance that crypto assets are not the problem, but rather bad actors are the ones causing issues in the industry. In a recent video statement, Lummis emphasized that “crypto assets are not the enemy, bad actors are.”
She also highlighted the need for federal investigators to crack down on bad actors in the crypto space.
Lummis has been a vocal advocate for the crypto industry, emphasizing that it would be a historic mistake to crush an entire emerging industry based on incorrect data.
Lummis Makes It Clear: Go After The Bad Guys
The lawmaker has consistently highlighted the need for a robust regulatory framework to prevent bad actors from operating in the crypto asset space.
$900 million in non-crypto (fiat currency) money laundering vs $900,000 in crypto money laundering.
Crypto is clearly not the problem. Criminals and bad actors are.
It would be a historic mistake to crush an entire emerging industry based on incorrect data. https://t.co/TEFEdvGG0o
— Senator Cynthia Lummis (@SenLummis) January 23, 2024
During a Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs hearing, Lummis pushed for the passage of such a framework, stating that the government has tried the “status quo,” where crypto asset intermediaries operate in an environment without clear paths to registration.
She said that as policy makers, they need to be making it more difficult to operate a crypto asset intermediary in the shadows, but they also need to make it possible to operate a compliant exchange in the United States.
Total crypto market cap at $1.512 trillion on the daily chart: TradingView.com
Earlier this year, Lummis reintroduced the Lummis-Gillibrand Responsible Financial Innovation Act, which places crypto assets within the regulatory perimeter, combats the use of crypto assets in illicit finance, and imposes new penalties for willfully violating these regulations.
This bill aims to provide a clear regulatory framework for the crypto industry, which would help prevent bad actors from operating in the space.
In July, the US Senate passed the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included provisions related to crypto assets.
Crypto Clash: Senator Lummis Vs. Warren
Lummis and U.S. Representative French Hill (R-AR), Chair of the House Digital Assets Subcommittee, sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland urging the Department of Justice to swiftly address platforms that have a history of allowing illegal activity.
Meanwhile, senators Cynthia Lummis and Elizabeth Warren recently debated the role of cryptocurrencies in money laundering on Capitol Hill.
A new @USGAO report confirms that rogue nations are using crypto to dodge sanctions and undermine our national security.
It’s time for crypto to follow the same anti-money laundering rules as everyone else. I’ve got a bill to make it happen. https://t.co/TUX2sJ8HR0
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 21, 2024
Warren highlighted a case where the Sinaloa Cartel laundered $900,000 through digital assets, advocating for stricter crypto regulations. Lummis countered, revealing the cartel had previously laundered almost $1 billion using traditional fiat currencies.
This clash exposed differing views on the impact of cryptocurrencies on illicit finance. While Warren focused on crypto, Lummis urged a broader perspective, emphasizing larger sums laundered through fiat. Critics argued that Warren overlooked traditional systems’ prevalence in money laundering.
The debate underscores the challenge of regulating cryptocurrencies while balancing innovation and security. Policymakers must create comprehensive frameworks addressing both virtual and traditional currencies to combat illicit finance effectively.
Lummis’ efforts to promote a clear regulatory framework for the crypto industry have been widely supported by industry experts. They believe that such a framework would help prevent bad actors from operating in the space and would provide a level of certainty for investors and businesses operating in the industry.
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