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Trump's 2021 Budget Proposal Seeks to Optimize Crypto Policing

U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed 2021 budget would shift the U.S. Secret Service from the Department of Homeland Security back to the Treasury Department, creating "new efficiencies" in investigations including crypto.

Feb 10, 2020 at 9:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 12:16 p.m. UTC

U.S. President Donald Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget proposal for FY 2021, released Monday, seeks to expand the Treasury Department’s cryptocurrency oversight by returning the United States Secret Service, now a division of the Department of Homeland Security, to its jurisdiction. 

The reshuffling would “create new efficiencies” in the Secret Service’s investigation of criminal acts involving cryptocurrencies and the financial marketplace, the executive report reads. It will also give Treasury more fire power to, as the budget reads, “disrupt terrorist financing, hold rogue states and human rights abusers accountable, and detect and deter financial crimes.”

The Secret Service is better known for protecting U.S. presidents and their families, but it is also responsible for investigating a wide range of financial crimes including fraud and counterfeiting, among others. 

“Technological advancements in recent decades, such as cryptocurrencies and the increasing interconnectedness of the international financial marketplace, have resulted in more complex criminal organizations and revealed stronger links between financial and electronic crimes and the financing of terrorists and rogue state actors,” according to the document. 

That may be why the people behind the budget think the Secret Service, the sole office charged with the protection of U.S. currency, could give a major boost to Treasury’s cyber crime-fighting efforts.

At Treasury, the Secret Service’s cryptocurrency investigations could dovetail with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a money-laundering watchdog that monitors cryptocurrency-related violations of the Banking Secrecy Act.

DHS, the Secret Service and branches within the Treasury Department have already spent millions of dollars on blockchain analytics, tapping Chainalysis to provide software tools and services.

Trump's budget is a long way from becoming law, though. Presidential budget proposals have little to no legal bearing on the budget process, which the Constitution stipulates must begin in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rather, it is a political document outlining Trump's priorities.

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