Language from Rep. Meadows’ Bill Targeting Sanctions Evasion Passes House as Part of Rep. Budd Bill

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Washington, September 26, 2018 | Ben Williamson (202-225-6401) | comments

RELEASE:
Language from Rep. Meadows’ Bill Targeting Sanctions Evasion Passes House as Part of Rep. Budd Bill

Washington, D.C. – Today, a bill from Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) to prevent rogue foreign actors from using digital currency to evade sanctions passed the House on suspension of the rules. The language was included as a part of the Financial Technology Protection Act, authored by Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC).

As cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin grow more common, evidence shows cybercriminals are taking advantage of its platform and services to convert illegally obtained revenue into “clean cash,” particularly on the global market. Specifically, one study sponsored by Bromium, a cybersecurity firm, found that “Cybercriminal proceeds make up an estimated 8-10% of total illegal profits laundered globally.” Even this relatively small percentage can amount to anywhere from $80 billion to $200 billion in revenue each year.

The chief purpose of Meadows’ bill, the Preventing Rogue and Foreign Actors From Evading Sanctions Act, is to prevent cybercriminals, particularly rogue foreign actors or states, from using digital currencies to circumvent sanctions. The new policy would direct the Secretary of the Treasury, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, to identify the potential use of cryptocurrency by state actors, terrorist organizations, and others to avoid sanctions. These agencies would then develop a strategy to target and mitigate illicit uses of cryptocurrencies by rogue actors and submit that strategy to Congress.

All reports under the new law will be made available to the public on the Treasury Department’s website.

Rep. Meadows released the following statement:

“As digital technology advances, our government faces an important responsibility to refine and modernize our vetting procedures to make sure our foreign policy is effective and up to date. Digital crypto is developing into a more common currency, and it’s critical that we do our due diligence to make sure we have all the information needed to adjust our policies. Rogue actors using virtual currency to circumvent sanctions is a real threat that should be taken seriously. I thank my colleagues for their support, and particularly thank my friend Ted Budd for working with us.”

To read the full bill, click here.     

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