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A Republican member of the US House of Representatives has called for tighter anti-money laundering controls for digital currencies.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher was speaking during a floor debate on the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, a funding measure for the US military that was ultimately passed earlier today.

After touching on the ever-growing controversy of Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election, Rohrabacher shifted gears to discuss cryptocurrencies, arguing that "people with bitcoins living in despotic regimes throughout the world have the opportunity to protect their assets from abusive and corrupt governments", according to a transcript of that debate.

Ideological support aside, Rohrabacher pushed for more oversight into the identities of those who transact using digital currencies, stating:

"I believe we should encourage digital currencies to implement full anti-money laundry and know-your-customer standards. These protection should empower both our law enforcement and national security professionals to keep terrorists' financing under control, to protect our freedom of using digital currencies...and keep America in the lead of this technological advance."

Yet prior to those remarks, Rohrabacher dismissed the idea of outlawing digital currencies altogether, positing that "banning digital currencies will not prevent terrorists from using them any more than banning guns will prevent criminals from using them".

The issue of digital currency regulation has gathered steam in Congress in the past year, as seen by the emergence of initiatives like the Congressional Blockchain Caucus and the filing of bills which call for deeper study into the subject.

As reported previously, the Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act of 2017, introduced in May, includes provisions that seeks to bring digital currency exchanges and transaction services under federal statutes.

Image screen capture via C-SPAN.org

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