Senate bill wants to put crypto in US’ sanction regime

The Intelligence Authorization Act seeks to crack down on facilitators of illicit crypto payments but its language may be too broad for practicality’s sake

A new crypto bill that’s plodding on through the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence wants to introduce the opportunity to impose sanctions, similar to those imposed to economies and mainstream financial assets, on the crypto industry.

The amendment to a supposedly liberalizing piece of legislation was pushed through members of the committee without informing colleagues in Congress, or even the rest of the Senate. Yet, because of this, the bill is not really expected to make it through a Senate vote, especially now when the former US President Donald Trump is campaigning on a message that endorses crypto.

Republican senators still have a slight advantage over their Democratic opponents with two seats more. Four independent seats could also be decided. Yet, the tendency is towards relaxing legislation, not bogging down the crypto sector in additional red tape.

This ill-fated timing, though, could have broader implications for the crypto sector and the elections, pushing jittery crypto bosses and bros closer in the orbit of Trump, who is yet to deliver on his promise to be “a crypto president.”

The particular sector of the bill concerns the sanctioning of “foreign digital assets transaction facilitators,” which in all likelihood refers to crypto exchanges that are believed to have facilitated payments for sanctioned regimes, groups of individuals, or terrorist organizations.

The so-called Intelligence Authorization Act has already been pushed through, led by Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat, which could further add to the reelection woes of President Joe Biden. The proposal itself is not too outlandish.

However, it’s timing may be ill-fated, as even if there were no elections coming around the corner, the House of Representatives had just passed a broader and more liberal piece of legislation to help the crypto industry finally have a foothold the right way and avoid the uncertainty over what class crypto assets constitute.

Therefore, it’s not very likely to see the House actually rally around the idea and shoot itself in the leg. However, it’s not just a matter of not antagonizing a certain type of people. The language in the bill tends to be very broad, which if passed, could lead to unintended consequences.

In the meantime, the crypto industry has become more concerned about regulatory change that impact its business without a fair degree of heads-up, which has galvanized many crypto bosses into entering politics by embracing the candidate for the upcoming elections who brags about having the strongest affinity to the sector. This could be bad news for Democrats.

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Written by Barney


Barney is co-founder of When not at work he can usually be found behind a Nikon. He's won numerous international competitions for his photography and volunteers as a content creator for aid organisations in Africa.

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