Elizabeth Warren reintroduces crypto bill with backing from banking policy group

Quick Take

  • BPI, which represents banking giants like Bank of America and Citibank, said the legislation would “defend our nations financial system against illicit finance in all its forms.”

Banking lobbyists have found themselves strange bedfellows with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. 

Trade group The Bank Policy Institute is backing legislation re-introduced by Warren and three other senators this week to "crack down on crypto's use in money laundering, drug trafficking, and financing of terrorism and rogue nations."

The bill is backed by West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and Republican Senators Roger Mashall of Kansas and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. 

Warren, who has been a fierce proponent of stricter banking regulations since the 2008 financial crisis, can also count on the support of BPI, which said in a statement that "existing anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act framework must account for digital assets, and we look forward to engaging in this process to defend our nation’s financial system against illicit finance in all its forms." Members of BPI include banking giants like Bank of America, Citibank, and Capital One. 

Bloomberg first reported the news.

The bill would expand Bank Secrecy requirements to digital asset wallet providers, miners, validators, and other participants in the crypto market. It would also direct FinCEN to require cryptocurrency ATM operators to regularly "submit and update the physical addresses of the kiosks they own or operate."

Warren, who is the most vocal legislator on the subject of crypto regulation, has called for a wide-ranging crackdown on illicit activity in the market and expansion of federal regulator authority to hold the industry to the same standards as traditional finance. In a 2022 op-ed, Warren noted that insufficient crypto regulation could "take down the economy."

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