US Senate approves national defense bill that also targets crypto mixers

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An amendment in the bill tightens oversight on institutions engaging in crypto trading.

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The United States Senate passed the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) worth $886 billion on July 27. The bill includes a provision targeting crypto mixers, anonymity-enhancing coins and institutions engaging in crypto trading.

The NDAA is a bill that helps authorize how the country’s defense department can utilize federal funding. Within the bill, a crypto-related amendment was advanced by a group of senators, including Cynthia Lummis, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Roger Marshall.

The amendment was created with provisions taken from the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, which was introduced back in 2022, and the Responsible Financial Innovation Act, which aims to establish guardrails to prevent another FTX-style event from happening within the industry.

More specifically, the amendment will require establishing examination standards for crypto. This would help assess risk and ensure that businesses comply with related sanctions and money laundering laws. 

Apart from this, it compels the U.S. Treasury Department to perform a study aimed at cracking down on anonymous crypto transactions. This includes the use of crypto mixers like Tornado Cash, which are used to make transactions private.

Related: Crypto lobbyists still fighting to axe ‘unlawful’ Tornado Cash sanctions

In 2022, the Treasury issued sanctions against the crypto mixer Tornado Cash, barring residents from using the crypto mixer. While the mixer was designed for people to anonymize their crypto transactions, it was often utilized by malicious actors to hide their ill-gotten crypto from hacks and exploits. According to the Treasury, the mixer failed to impose controls that disallow money laundering from bad actors in the space.

Meanwhile, the NDAA also includes an amendment that will require companies in the U.S. to disclose investments in China. U.S. Senator Bob Casey said that this notification is necessary for the government to understand how much “critical technology” is being transferred to “adversaries.“

Magazine: Tornado Cash 2.0: The race to build safe and legal coin mixers


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