Senator Warren’s Crypto Money Laundering Bill Builds Momentum as More Sign On

Among nine new supporters of the legislative effort to ward off illicit uses of crypto are Democratic chairs of the Homeland Security and Judiciary committees.

AccessTimeIconSep 18, 2023 at 3:34 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 18, 2023 at 4:18 p.m. UTC
  • One of the U.S. Senate's top crypto critics, Elizabeth Warren, has drummed up some high-profile names to back her crypto legislation meant to target money laundering.
  • The bipartisan bill hasn't yet made any further steps forward, such as an approval by the Senate Banking Committee.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has enlisted more support from key lawmakers in a growing coalition pushing for a law to crack down on money-laundering and sanctions abuses in crypto, with new sponsorship from the top Democrats on the Senate Homeland Security and Judiciary committees.

Though the prominent Massachusetts senator is gathering sponsors for this latest version of her Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, including Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who leads the Homeland Security panel, the bill’s path toward passage remains murky, with a divided Congress heading into a divisive election year. Though the House of Representatives has made progress on two crypto bills, neither of them is a match for Warren’s.

Crypto lobbyists have been putting up a fight against the legislation that the Chamber of Digital Commerce argues would “eradicate digital asset innovation from the United States at the expense of market security.”

The wide-ranging bill, introduced in July, would – among other things – extend anti-money-laundering requirements from the Bank Secrecy Act to providers of digital assets wallets, crypto miners, validators and other network participants. One of its original co-sponsors was Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), who has often occupied a middle ground between the parties on important legislative issues, and two Republicans also supported it from the start: Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Warren’s effort also has backing from a group that more often draws her ire: Wall Street bankers. That industry’s lobbyists, including the Bank Policy Institute, have weighed in with support.

While the bill may not go far this year, some of Warren’s money-laundering concerns have been addressed in another piece of legislation – an amendment to the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Edited by Nikhilesh De.


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Jesse Hamilton

Jesse Hamilton is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for global policy and regulation. He doesn't hold any crypto.