March 27, 2024
U.S. Financial Services Committee to Scrutinize Illicit Activities in Cryptocurrency at Upcoming Hearing
Bitcoin News

U.S. Financial Services Committee to Scrutinize Illicit Activities in Cryptocurrency at Upcoming Hearing

The United States Financial Services Committee (FSC) is set to delve into illicit activities within the cryptocurrency ecosystem during a scheduled hearing on November 15. Titled ‘Crypto crime in context: breaking down the illicit activity in digital assets,’ the hearing will feature key figures from the crypto industry as witnesses.

According to the Committee’s calendar, Mr. Bill Hughes, senior counsel and director of global regulatory matters at Consensys, and Mr. Jonathan Levin, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Chainalysis, are among the witnesses. Jane Khodorkovsky, a former federal officer and specialist in human trafficking finance, will also testify. The FSC’s objective, as outlined in the Committee memorandum, is “to ensure that bad actors do not exploit the digital asset ecosystem.”

The discussion will focus on the extent of illicit activity in the crypto space, tools available to combat such activities and potential gaps in preventing and detecting illicit behavior. The hearing will address issues such as money laundering and terror financing, referencing a Chainalysis report from January 2023 indicating a surge in illicit cryptocurrency volumes amid increased sanctions designations and hacking.

Moreover, the hearing will scrutinize the effectiveness of Anti-Money Laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) measures implemented by both crypto exchanges and decentralized finance (DeFi) providers. The role of regulatory entities, including the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), and the Department of Justice (DOJ), will also be explored.

The FSC’s focus on cryptocurrency regulations aligns with broader legislative efforts, as seen in Chairman Patrick McHenry’s announcement in July regarding the markup of legislation aimed at providing regulatory clarity for stablecoin issuance. Concurrently, the DOJ has enhanced its crypto crime team by merging the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) and the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) into a unified unit dedicated to combating ransomware crimes.

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