Secret Service Calls for ‘Congressional Attention’ on Privacy Cryptos

Muyao Shen
Jun 26, 2018 at 02:10 UTC
Updated Jun 26, 2018 at 13:17 UTC
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An official for the U.S. Secret Service last week called on Congress to weigh potential legislative action on cryptocurrencies that boast privacy-enhancing features.

Speaking before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, Robert Novy, deputy assistant director for the Service’s Office of Investigations, stated that “congressional attention” on the issue is needed.

“We should also consider additional legislative or regulatory actions to address potential challenges related to anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies, services intended to obscure transactions on blockchains (i.e. cryptocurrency tumblers or mixers) and cryptocurrency mining pools,” Novy said, according to published testimony.

While Novy didn’t mention any specific privacy-focused coins, but U.S. officials have raised concerns in the past. In January of last year, Joseph Battaglia, a special agent working at the FBI’s Cyber Division in New York City, cited the cryptocurrency monero as one that has other officials concerned.

Given the slow pace of proceedings in the U.S. national legislature, it’s not likely that lawmakers would move toward any concrete steps anytime soon. Even still, Novy asked that they keep the issue in mind moving ahead.

“As such, continued Congressional attention is warranted to ensure law enforcement agencies maintain lawful access to critical sources of evidence, regardless of where, or in what form, that information is stored,” he stated.

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