Senator Elizabeth Warren has introduced new legislation targeting Russian crypto use.
Warren announced the introduction of the "Digital Asset Sanctions4Compliance Enhancement Act" during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on March 17. The bill features co-sponsorship from 10 other Democratic senators, including leaders of the Foreign Relations and Agriculture Committees, but not the Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown.
The co-sponsors, per the draft, are Senators Duckworth, Cortez Masto, Menendez, Van Hollen, Warnock, Smith, Stabenow, Reed, Tester and Warner.
At the hearing, Warren said: "The crypto industry claims that Russians can’t use crypto to hide their wealth.”
Though the bill is not yet available on the Congressional dossier, The Block has obtained a copy of what appears to be a final draft. It requires the White House to assemble a report on all crypto service providers that have any affiliation with Russia. It also gives sweeping authority to the Treasury to bar crypto services providers like exchanges from transacting with any addresses that are associated with Russia.
The bill notably establishes a broad definition for so-called "digital asset transaction facilitators" -- a definitional area that is likely to spark opposition from industry groups.
As the legislation states, such entities are defined as "any person, or group of persons, that significantly and materially facilitates the purchase, sale, lending, borrowing, exchange, custody, holding, validation, or creation of digital assets on the account of others, including any communication protocol, decentralized finance technology, smart contract, or other software, including open-source computer code."
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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