In a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Nov. 16 hearing, Senator Elizabeth Warren sounded the alarm on cryptocurrencies being used as vehicles for financial scams. Her concerns come as she introduced legislation aimed at strengthening regulations to curb such illicit activities.
During the hearing, Warren pointed to cryptocurrencies’ anonymity as a main factor enabling their use for fraudulent schemes, especially those preying on older Americans.
In contribution to this, Expert witness Steve Weisman of Bentley University also concurred, noting that while privacy coins like Monero have legitimate uses, they are predominantly leveraged by criminals.
The ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline demonstrated this problem, as the inability to fully trace transactions despite identifying the accounts exemplified how anonymity stymies oversight. Warren argued that new regulations are urgently needed to combat the rise of crypto-related fraud.
However, Warren’s bill has faced industry backlash as crypto leaders argue that crypto’s inherent transparency actually deters crime, and warn the rules could negatively impact innovation.
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