The Bitcoin Foundation is looking to stop Congress from including Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in legislation regarding nefarious acts by terrorists organizations and money laundering. Senators Grassley, Feinstein, Cornyn, and Whitehouse, have sponsored legislation entitled, “Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act of 2017,” includes a portion that points to digital currencies. The bill ostensible wants to track cryptocurrencies at the border. The Bitcoin Foundation says it will publish a letter in opposition to the legislation in the coming days.
The Bitcoin Foundation states:
“[The legislation] is including Bitcoin in this definition in order to criminalize the use of Bitcoin under certain circumstances, despite the fact that other states and federal agencies have taken conflicting positions on the economic nature of cryptocurrencies and the legal approach to regulating such a new technology. It is a similarly inappropriate and premature classification of Bitcoin as money by the Department of Justice that has resulted in innocent Bitcoin traders being thrown in jail.”
The Bitcoin Foundation believes that digital currencies lack the characteristics of monetary instruments the bill attempts to regulate. Noting that Senator Grassley wants to target cryptocurrencies because of its potential use by terrorist, the Foundation states:
“Contrary to this assertion, there is little to no systemic evidence that terrorist organizations use virtual currencies.”
The Bitcoin Foundation believes the bill will stifle innovation in the sector while over-criminalizing legitimate use of Bitcoin and other crypto coins. The Foundation asks the Senate Committee to investigate the U.S. DOJʼs policy of prosecuting individual Bitcoiners who exchange bitcoin for cash or other financial instruments under the federal money transmitting statute.
The Change.org petition is live now and seeking supporters.