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Again - US Congress Trying to Cripple Crypto Industry

Latest bill may have been spotted early enough to influence necessary changes before debate.

New House Bill Put Lobbyists on Alert

The alarm bells for crypto lobbyists in Washington DC went off on January 26 as the America Competes Act gets ready to hit the floor of the House of Representatives.

Apart from the authoritarian provisions within the language of the bill, lobbyists associated with the Blockchain Association and CoinCenter fear that further language would give a direct pathway to cripple the cryptocurrency industry. The law would allow authorities at the US Treasury Department to use ‘special measures’ to eliminate the privacy of nearly all financial transactions. 

“It empowers the Secretary to prohibit any (or indeed all) cryptocurrency transactions (or any other kind of transaction) without any process, rulemaking, or limitation on the duration of the prohibition,” tweeted Jerry Brito, Executive Director for CoinCenter. 

The law is meant to combat money laundering but removing the due process of law could give regulators a clear path to a crypto crackdown. 

“Without this due process, many in the crypto industry fear that it could provide a pathway for a misguided crackdown on the use of cryptocurrencies,” added Kristin Smith, Executive Director of the Blockchain Association in an official statement. 

Crypto lobbyists do not see this as a repeat of the Summer 2021 infrastructure bill fiasco, but is still an indication of precarious the security of crypto assets can be. 

“This is not another infrastructure situation. We are having a constructive dialogue with decision-makers who are open to input. More work to do, but way better than the situation in August,” Smith continued in a separate response.

It is a very positive indication that lobbyists were able to catch the provisions this early in the legislative process. The hyper-vigilance is a good sign, even though the minds of legislators and regulators still appear aloof. 

“I've been in the same conversations, but I'm not going to sleep soundly until pernicious language is gone from bill. If this is better than situation in August it's because we drew the public's attention and put on pressure. We should not get comfortable until it's fixed,” Brito said in response to Smith’s perceived alleviation. 
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