Treasury seeks public comment on crypto’s role in financial crime

The request for comment follows three Treasury Department reports discussing the future of payments, the impact crypto could have on consumers and the prevention of crypto-related financial crime.

Treasury is asking the public to speak out about crypto crimes

The US Treasury is seeking public assistance in determining how to prevent financial crime in the digital asset space.

The Government Finance Office submitted a request for comment on Monday, inviting the public to share their views on digital assets and the role they can play in illicit financing. Excerpt text:

“Through this Request for Comment (RFC), the Department of the Treasury is seeking input from the public to understand the public’s view of emerging risks and the actions that the United States Government and the Department of the Treasury should take to mitigate risks.”

The announcement refers to President Biden’s executive order to “ensure the responsible development of digital assets,” which was signed into law in March. This comes on the heels of three Treasury Department crypto reports published Friday covering the future of payments, the potential impact technology can have on consumers and businesses, and ways to mitigate financial crime. The White House also published its first comprehensive framework for organizing the space on the same day.

In today’s announcement, the Treasury asked the public to come forward to express their views on five topics: illicit financial risks, combating money laundering (AML) and terrorist financing (CTF), implementing global standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, and engaging with the private sector on anti-money laundering and terrorist financing regulations. Money laundering and terrorist financing.

Treasury Highlights DeFi, NFTs, and CBDCs

The Treasury note includes a number of questions from the public, which question whether it has “comprehensively identified the illicit financing risks associated with digital assets.” It also asks the public to advise on the potential “illegal financial risks” associated with DeFi and NFTs.

Other questions include possible ways the government can work to prevent crypto-related cybercrime and ransomware, how the Treasury can use analytical tools to prevent illicit financing, and how it can implement anti-money laundering and terrorist financing “controls” in the US central bank’s digital currency. Last week’s updates from the White House and the Treasury Department hinted at the possibility of a digital dollar on several occasions, although no such currency has yet been confirmed. While the Treasury is set to assess the implications of launching a central bank digital currency, the Federal Reserve has also been tasked with continuing research on how to design it.

Recent developments from the Biden administration show that the Treasury Department is paying close attention to the crypto sector, although it remains unclear how it plans to influence it. Based on today’s update, he doesn’t yet know how he plans to deal with tech regulation either. In an update on Friday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen pointed to “significant opportunities” in the crypto space, although the reports also focused sharply on potential risks. Today’s announcement covering illicit financing issues reiterates this point, proving that the department believes that there is a downside to cryptocurrency as well as a possible upside.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this article owns ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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