Senate Experts Speak - Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain RegulationsScroll Down
In a hearing held today by the U.S. Senate's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, witnesses with a broad range of experience all spoke of the same problem, voicing the same concerns about a foreign actor using virtual currency to adversely affect the U.S. political system. Scott Dueweke, director of the threat analysis company DarkTower and a Director at the Identity and Payments Association (IDPAY) was a key witness who argued that legislators need to focus on cooperative international solutions, saying that: “Identity is the key. International cooperation is critical.” Without knowing who is giving the money, the influence and reach can lead to shell donations that create a web of donors from every corner of the world to the bank accounts of thousands of political candidates. David Murray, Vice President for Product Development and Services at the Financial Integrity Network – and previously senior advisor to the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence – fully concurred, saying that there is no single jurisdiction that can regulate these exchangers. They can simply move in favor of a better regulatory regime. This sort of system is even more advantageous to foreign adversaries to the United States who wish to interfere in the electoral process. Both experts were careful to note that cryptocurrencies and blockchain aren’t inherently bad, but that the anonymity provided by them can be a hotbed for criminal activity. Stressing the need for international cooperation and government oversight, both Murray and Dueweke see a positive future. Dueweke’s biggest push was towards managing the opportunities and risks associated with the use of virtual currencies as political contributions, or as funding mechanisms for influence operations through the authentication and reporting of identities, though he wasn’t specific as to how. The way forward will be one of adapting to new technologies and advancement.