THREE PRO-CRYPTOCURRENCY BILLS TO BE INTRODUCED TO CONGRESS

Three pieces of legislation will be brought before Congress by the co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus. Their intent is to streamline the growing industry by introducing concise and transparent guidelines for businesses and investors, while also providing a safe harbor for taxpayers who use cryptocurrencies.   


 

ACCELERATING THE DEVELOPMENT OF BLOCKCHAIN TECH

Congressman Tom Emmer (R-MN) announced September 21 that he will be introducing three bills aimed at supporting blockchain technology and digital currencies.

In an official release, the Congressman said:

The United States should prioritize accelerating the development of blockchain technology, and create an environment that enables the American private sector to lead on innovation and further growth, which is why I am introducing these bills.

Emmers also asserted that legislators ought to be working towards embracing the emerging technologies as, well as providing a regulatory system which allows them to further advance.

Emmer’s position is in line with the overall legislative approach that the CFTC is urging for. As the Bitcoinist reported September 15, the Commission’s Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo said:

I’m advocating the same approach to cryptocurrencies and all things having to do with this new digital revolution of markets, and of currencies, and of asset classes.

PRO-CRYPTOCURRENCY BILLS

The first bill that the congressman will push for is named “Blockchain Regulatory Certainty Act” and it will create a safe harbor from state licensing requirements for non-custodial entities in the field. In other words, intermediaries which facilitate cryptocurrency operations without taking control of consumer funds won’t have to register as a money transmitter.

The next bill is called “Safe Harbor for Taxpayers with Forked Assets Act” and it attempts to provide protection from penalties for those taxpayers who benefit from a forked cryptocurrency.

Lastly, the Emmers will introduce a resolution which provides overall support for the cryptocurrency industry and its further development within the country.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


 

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Author: GEORGI GEORGIEV 
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Bitcoin Not Useful for Terrorists, Expert Tells US Congress

Despite scattered reports and fears about crypto’s potential use in facilitating terror activities, multiple bitcoin fundraising attempts have failed and cash remains substantially more useful to terrorists.

This was the message delivered by Yaya Fanusie, director of analysis for the Foundation For Defense of Democracies Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance in a prepared testimony delivered to the House Financial Services Committee on Friday, Sept. 7.

Cold hard cash is still king’

According to Fanusie’s testimony, a number of terrorist groups including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have attempted to raise funds using cryptocurrency several times without achieving any notable success.

Buttressing this point, Fanusie mentioned the example of a terror group known as Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) in the Environs of Jerusalem, which carried out a crypto fundraising campaign for several weeks in 2016 and ended up netting just a little over $500 in donations.

Fanusie explained that crypto is generally a poor medium of exchange for terrorists because they are often located in areas with poor internet infrastructure, and so they are forced to rely on cash purchases for the goods they need.

He also explained that despite crypto’s promise of anonymity, cash still remains the most anonymous means of terror financing. Despite this, he further noted in his testimony that in addition to terrorists, jihadist recruitment and publicity platforms are increasingly integrating bitcoin into their funding appeals.

In his view, the U.S. government’s response to this threat should be to ensure rigorous enforcement of KYC and AML regulations for crypto exchanges while at the same time finding a way to deal with the growing threat posed by smaller exchanges offering trades in privacy coins such as monero.

In his words:

“By preparing now for terrorists’ increasing usage of cryptocurrencies, the U.S. can limit the ability to turn digital currency markets into a sanctuary for illicit finance.”

Fanusie’s testimony corroborates the contents of a 2016 Europol report which found no confirmed evidence to suggest that bitcoin is used for terror financing.

Failing Terrorists but Enabling Racists?

While terror organisations may not have found much success with cryptocurrencies, it has been reported that several white supremacist groups around the world are experiencing a measure of success with crypto for fundraising and payments.

A Forbes report from January 2018 outlines the successes of white supremacist platforms like the Daily Stormer who have raised millions of dollars in anonymous donations using bitcoin.

CCN also reported in July 2017 that the controversial whites-only town of Orania in South Africa’s Northern Cape province is looking into setting up its own digital currency.


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Author: David Hundeyin
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