U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has urged for a revision of the Bank Secrecy Act in response to what she perceives as a pressing concern posed by cryptocurrency.
In a talk with CNBC Squawk Box, Warren highlighted the necessity to update the Act, citing cryptocurrency as a new, significant threat. She expressed concerns over the alleged exploitation of crypto in activities such as terrorist financing and drug trafficking, asserting that North Korea has purportedly utilized cryptocurrency to fund approximately half of its nuclear weapons program, a point she reiterated from a recent Senate banking committee hearing. Warren emphasized the urgency of halting such practices.
Warren reiterated her stance in a tweet, emphasizing the importance of enforcing anti-money laundering regulations on cryptocurrency, emphasizing their role in national security.
Despite contrasting views expressed by CEOs like Jamie Dimon, who voiced opposition to crypto during the Senate hearing and urged its shutdown, the Bank Secrecy Act mandates U.S. financial institutions to aid government agencies in detecting and preventing money laundering, tax evasion, and other illicit activities.
Warren has a history of associating cryptocurrency with criminal activities, having previously linked it to the fentanyl trade in June 2023. While Warren’s assertion about North Korea purporting to have stolen “more than $3 billion in crypto” aligns with figures from the 2023 Crypto Crime Report by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, some of her claims have been disputed by other entities.