Following the recent ransomware fiasco and multiple traders from a variety of U.S. states arrested for bitcoin related money laundering charges two senators have introduced a new bill to regulate these activities. The legislation submitted last week aims to classify bitcoin as a monetary instrument in the 2017 ‘Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Counterfeiting Act.’
‘Funds Stored in a Digital Format Are Within the Definition of Monetary Instruments’
U.S. bureaucrats are steadily ramping up regulatory policies towards digital currencies like bitcoin. Two weeks ago a few days after the widespread ransomware epidemic Bitcoin.com reported on a proposed bill submitted by a New York Representative Kathleen Rice asking the government to research the role of virtual currencies in terrorism.
Now Senator Diane Feinstein of California and Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa want to add digital currencies to the monetary instrument definitions in regards to money laundering and terrorist financing statutes. Grassley’s team has published a summary of the bill which makes reference to prepaid cards, other cards that store value (gift cards), and digital currencies.
“Stored value cards, are increasingly becoming effective mediums for criminals to hide and move funds across the border because they are more easily concealable than cash, and they are not covered by reporting requirements,” explains Grassley and Feinstein’s section by section summary. “Section 13 would amend to include funds stored in a digital format within the definition of monetary instruments. This would effectively subject those devices to anti-money laundering reporting requirements under the Bank Secrecy Act, in cases where the value stored is above $10,000.”
Two Reports Due After the Bill Becomes Law
Furthermore, the summary details lawmakers are seeking research on the subject much like the bill submitted by Representative Kathleen Rice.
Section 13 would also mandate two reports: (1) a GAO report on the impact of the amendments on law enforcement and the prepaid access industry; and (2) a Department of Homeland Security report detailing a strategy to detect prepaid access devices and digital currency at border crossings and ports of entry.
The proposed bill aims to apply to law enforcement, protective and intelligence agencies that operate within and outside of the U.S. Additionally the law will also cover money services businesses or entities involved with prohibited activities. If Grassley and Feinstein’s proposal becomes law, the two mandated reports are required to be submitted a year and a half after the bill becomes law.
What do you think about Senator Grassley and Feinstein’s newly submitted bill? Let us know in the comments below.
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