US congressional watchdog to research role of trafficking in cryptos. Senate Banking Committee top Republicans and Democrats plan to introduce legislation this week. The legislation would guide the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to research the role of virtual currency in illegal online activity.
Within a proposed anti-money laundering amendment to the enormous National Defense Authorization Act, the wording emerges as a must-pass bill that greenlights the annual military budget.
The amendment read, “Although the use and trading of virtual currencies are legal practices, some terrorists and criminals, including international criminal organizations, seek to exploit vulnerabilities”
If the amendment is passed the GAO, a congressional watchdog agency, would have one year to report on how virtual currencies might be facilitating human- and drug-trafficking industries across online marketplaces.
The office would study how virtual currency acts as a vehicle for laundering illicit funds into the U.S. banking system, as well as what, if anything, the federal government is doing to stop it.
Whether the “immutability and traceability of virtual currencies” can help prosecute criminals would also be on GAO’s list of concerns.
[image: Nick Shuliahin]