U.S. Senator Calls for “Light” Crypto Regulation to Combat Risks and Foster Growth


Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) advocated for a “light” regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency industry during a Senate Banking Committee meeting on Tuesday, emphasizing the need to address risks while creating an environment conducive to digital asset innovation.

During a Senate Banking Committee meeting on Tuesday, Senator Tillis highlighted the importance of implementing a “light” regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency industry. Tillis emphasized the need to combat risks such as potential collapses akin to the FTX incident and the financing of illicit activities, including terrorism.

“Nothing to see here, everything is fine’ – they’re wrong,” Sen. Tillis remarked, stressing the necessity of regulatory measures to mitigate risks within the crypto sector. He underscored the importance of fostering a “hospitable environment” to support the growth and development of digital assets.

Tillis’s remarks coincided with testimony from Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo, who discussed the Treasury’s efforts to address illicit finance, terrorism, and sanctions evasion. Adeyemo advocated for additional tools to combat crypto-related crimes, echoing legislative requests made by the Treasury in November.

In a bipartisan effort, Tillis and Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) unveiled a discussion draft of the Ensuring Necessary Financial Oversight and Reporting of Cryptocurrency Ecosystems (ENFORCE) Act. The proposed legislation aims to ensure that centralized cryptocurrency companies adhere to Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and anti-money laundering (AML) standards.

Democratic members of the Senate Banking Committee, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), also called for enhanced crypto regulations. Sen. Warren cautioned against the potential misuse of cryptocurrencies by illicit actors, emphasizing the need for stringent AML and know-your-customer (KYC) protocols.

“Name your bad guy, and crypto is the way they can move money around,” Sen. Warren remarked, highlighting the anonymity and accessibility of cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes. She specifically raised concerns about stablecoins serving as conduits for money laundering and terrorist financing.

Warren’s comments underscored the urgency of establishing a robust regulatory framework to prevent the exploitation of crypto assets by malign actors. As discussions around crypto regulation intensify, policymakers are navigating the delicate balance between fostering innovation and safeguarding against financial crimes.

Senator Tillis’s call for a “light” regulatory approach reflects growing bipartisan interest in addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the cryptocurrency industry. As lawmakers deliberate on potential legislative measures, the need to strike a balance between regulation and innovation remains paramount in shaping the future of digital assets in the United States.

Financial Desk

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