Congressman and crypto lobby scale back new Treasury surveillance authority in COMPETES Act

The crypto lobby is on track to score a win on new financial surveillance legislation. 

Congressman Jim Himes has prepared an amendment to language in the so-called America COMPETES Act outlining new surveillance-related powers for the Treasury — language that crypto advocacy group Coin Center began warning of last week.

The lobbying organization and the representative from Connecticut indeed worked together on the amendment, which aims to keep in place limits on the Treasury's ability to step in on private financial accounts. 

The language of the COMPETES Act as it originally came out last week would give the Treasury sweeping powers to freeze or block transactions and accounts interacting with foreign entities by expanding its existing authorities under 31 U.S. Code § 5318A, which lists