Elizabeth Warren Warns North Korea Is Financing Nuclear Missiles With Crypto

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With Bitcoin having delivered double-digit percentage gains this year and the broader cryptocurrency sector enjoying favorable tailwinds in the form of greater retail access, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has stressed once again that the popular alternative finance medium needs to be brought on the same regulatory footing as traditional entities such as banks and money transfer agencies. She spoke on various topics in a talk with journalists from Bloomberg yesterday and shared that scrutiny of cryptocurrencies is essential since nefarious elements have used them to destabilize the world and evade the law.

Senator Warren Stresses That Banks, Credit Unions, Gold Traders, Stock Brokers and Others Follow The Same Set of Rules

Since cryptocurrency is quite a younger phenomenon when compared to financial metals such as gold or established banks like JPMorgan, its meteoric rise, along with advances in chip fabrication, has been unforeseen. While it offers the same benefits as a typically liquid currency or asset, the source of funds piled into currencies such as Bitcoin becomes harder for law enforcement agencies to track.

In her talk with Bloomberg Television yesterday which was aired late evening Eastern time, the senator from Massachusetts stressed that her only aim is to ensure that cryptocurrency and its associated entities are brought on the same “level playing field” as other financial mediums, such as banks, credit unions and gold traders. According to her, this would allow criminal elements, the likes of terrorists and human traffickers, to be unable to use cryptocurrency for their crimes.

Bitcoin’s sharp price rise in 2024 has been accompanied by various finance sector professionals commenting on it. JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon created ripples in January when he likened Bitcoin to a “pet rock“, while the well known British pound short seller billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller worried in late 2023 that while he didn’t own any Bitcoin, maybe he should have bought some.

Bitcoin has been down just 2% since early November 2021, as it has recovered all losses since the historic sell-off of 2022.

The Senator commented:

I want to collaborate with the industry. What I don’t understand is why the industry seems to be saying, that the only ay that they can survive is if there’s plenty of space for the drug traffickers and human traffickers, oh and the terrorists, and the ransomware scammers, oh and the consumer scammers, and the rogue nations. North Korea, that is financing about half of its nuclear missile program with crypto, that all of that has to be left open.

You know, keep in mind, in our financial system, pretty much everybody follows the same set of rules. I’m talking banks, and credit unions, credit card companies, uh, gold traders, stock brokers, . .private equity now has to follow the rules. precious metals dealers, Venmo, Western Union, [PAUSES] but not crypto.

My view of the world is, same kind of activity, same kind of risk, should have the same regulation. I’m not looking for fancier regulation for that. I’m not looking for anything tougher for them. I just want a level playing field here, where if you’re part of t he financial system moving around literally billions of dollars, that, remember, my bill’s not a regulatory bill. It’s a bill about law enforcement. That law enforcement has the same tools that it has anywhere else to be able to shut down the terrorists and the drug traffickers and the scammers.

She added that anyone who wants to help achieve this level playing field is welcome to provide a set of solutions.

Her bill is the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, and while it has garnered support from Wall Street, the Chamber of Digital Commerce criticized the legislation last year for placing “impractical” and “unworkable compliance burdens” on the cryptocurrency industry.

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