On July 8 the Financial Services Committee for the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing concerning digital currencies. The meeting discussed the implications of virtual currencies in regards to financial innovation and national security. During the event, the Republican Texas Congressman Roger Williams asked for increased digital currency regulation to fend off terrorist funding and criminal activity.
‘Ensuring the Rise of Digital Currency Won’t Aid the Actions of Criminals’
This week 25th district of Texas congressman, Roger Williams, published his commentary when he addressed the congressional hearing and the Terrorism and Illicit Finance Subcommittee on July 8. Participants of the meeting included U.S. congressional leaders, and digital currency advocates from organizations such as Chainalysis, Coin Center, and Elliptic. Williams believes virtual currencies can offer “many exciting opportunities for our future,” but can also fund criminal elements at the same time.
“Our nation must ensure that the rise of digital currency, and its use within our borders, does not help aid the actions of terrorists, criminals, and others who want to hurt us,” explains Williams.
Mr. Speaker, at this hearing, the serious national security implications of digital currency, and its use by terrorists was examined. Unless we in Congress develop rational and balanced policies, we may be enabling the very terrorists who wish to destroy us.
‘All the World’s Digital Currencies Are Not Compliant With AML/KYC Standards’
Williams says he is particularly concerned with the lack of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements for digital currency businesses. The representative doesn’t understand why digital currencies are not compliant but other financial institutions are demanded to follow regulatory guidelines. “This lack of compliance provides a widely opened door for forces of evil to finance their terrible endeavors,” explains Williams.
“The question, Mr. Speaker, is how we are able to balance our desire to protect our nation and innocents around the world from terror, while not losing our freedoms or economic opportunities,” says Williams.
At this time, virtually all the world’s digital currencies are not compliant with the critical AML/KYC standards we expect of our other institutions. Some in the digital currency world argue that digital finance requires a relaxation of these standards. This is absolutely incorrect.
The Texas House leader concludes his speech by saying that he encourages Congress to study digital finance and hopes they will focus attention on the issue of AML/KYC compliance.
“Highlighting those currencies that refuse to provide this safeguard, and examining and encouraging those who do,” Williams adds.
What do you think about the Texas Congressman Roger Williams and his statements about virtual currencies? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Wiki Commons, and Pixabay.
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