Elizabeth Warren's Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act Gains Nine New Sponsors


September 18, 2023


Iara Kaiser

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Senator Elizabeth Warren's bipartisan cryptocurrency anti-money laundering bill has gained backing from nine additional senators, including influential committee chairs.

In a press release on Senator Warren's website dated September 15, it was announced that the bill had secured backing from notable figures such as Gary Peters, Chair of Homeland Security and Dick Durbin, Judiciary Chair. Other senators endorsing the bill include Tina Smith, Angus King, Michael Bennet, Bob Casey, Catherine Cortez Masto, Jeanne Shaheen and Richard Blumenthal.

With this new wave of support, a total of twelve senators are now backing the bill, with Senator Roger Marshall serving as co-sponsor. Senators Joe Manchin and Lindsey Graham are also among those supporting the initiative.

Senator Warren expressed her gratitude for the growing support and emphasized that this bipartisan bill is currently one of the most comprehensive proposals aimed at tackling illicit activities involving cryptocurrencies and providing regulators with enhanced tools. The Act aims to strengthen regulatory oversight in the cryptocurrency industry by addressing existing gaps and providing frameworks for combating money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism that govern the wider financial system.

According to a document released by the lawmakers, there has been a significant rise in unauthorized digital asset transactions, totaling $20 billion, with a concerning 44% of those transactions being linked to entities under sanctions in the past year. To tackle these issues, Senator Warren and her colleagues intend to expand the Bank Secrecy Act. Their proposal includes implementing know-your-customer (KYC) requirements for wallet providers, miners and other participants in cryptocurrency networks.

Senator Manchin emphasized that this legislation aims to mitigate security risks associated with cryptocurrency platforms by urging them to follow the same regulations as traditional banks.

Several organizations have expressed their support for this legislative move, including Transparency International U.S., Global Financial Integrity and the National District Attorneys Association.

It's worth noting that Senator Warren has consistently advocated for stringent regulations on cryptocurrencies, having pointed out that sanctioned countries like Iraq and Russia often rely on cryptocurrencies for their activities. She has also raised concerns about a potential "$50 billion crypto tax gap" and the risk of the IRS and Treasury losing roughly $1.5 billion in tax revenue for the 2024 fiscal year if policy updates are delayed. During her re-election campaign in March, Warren proposed establishing a group focused on addressing the cryptocurrency industry within the United States.