US Foreign Sanctions Bill Mandates That Governments Monitor Cryptocurrency
President Trump has signed a controversial foreign sanctions bill into law that mandates the Iranian, Russian, and North Korean governments must monitor cryptocurrency circulations as a measure to combat “illicit finance trends”.
The bill requires that governments develop a national security strategy to combat the “financing of terrorism and related forms of illicit finance”. Governments will be required to monitor “data regarding trends in illicit finance, including evolving forms of value transfer such as so-called cryptocurrencies.”
Although the new legislation indicates the U.S government’s desire to monitor cryptocurrencies, at this time making no indication that a more aggressive cryptocurrency crackdown may be imminent.
According to the Bill, an Initial Draft Strategy Is Expected to Come Before Congress Within the Next Year.
Yaya Fanusie, a former CIA counter-terrorism analyst for the CIA, has presented a balanced account of the threat posed to anti-terror authorities by bitcoin and alternative cryptocurrencies. “The national security concern is not that criminals will use this type of technology — they use all technologies,” Mr. Fanusie said. “The policy question is: How do you deal with something that governments can’t control?”
Fanusie previously identified the first verifiable instance of bitcoin being used a vehicle for fundraising by a terrorist organization, and continues to conduct analysis for the Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. In an interview with the Washington Times, Fanusie recommended that U.S government work closely with cryptocurrencies in order to ensure that they are not used for illicit financing. “Bitcoin is like a rebellious teenager, it wants to do its own thing”, he said. “So what do you do? Do you ban it? No, you want to have a good relationship with it and influence how it develops”.
According to the bill, an initial draft strategy is expected to come before Congress within the next year, and will see input made by US financial regulators, the Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department.