Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation, is raising concern that the Crypto-Currency Act of 2020 is an attack on financial privacy.
“Beware the Crypto-Currency Act of 2020.”
Citing a section of the draft bill, Gladstein, a Bitcoin supporter, argues any legislation that forces businesses to spy on, deanonymize or micro-monitor customers goes against the financial privacy that’s needed to protect democratic freedoms.
On Monday, Paul Gosar (R-AZ) introduced an updated version of the Crypto-Currency Act of 2020 that’s designed to legitimize Bitcoin (BTC) and digital assets by creating new definitions for three separate categories of crypto-assets and assigning each category to a sole regulator. Three US regulators, according to the bill, would regulate the entire industry: the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the Secretary of the Treasury via Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
According to a report by Bloomberg, two of the three regulators listed in the draft bill aren’t designed to regulate currencies: the CFTC, which regulates derivatives trading and not the trading of commodities themselves, and FinCEN, which regulates financial institutions, not currencies or assets.
Writes legal analyst Robert Kim,
“The draft bill’s superficially neat categories of crypto-assets and superficially neat division of regulatory authority over them create new problems regarding boundaries, however, making them likely to sow further confusion rather than establish clarity.”
Gladstein calls the move regulatory overreach.
“If you buy any cryptocurrency at a regulated exchange, do you want that company to be giving up your information (NAME bought X amount of Y on withdrew on Z day) to the government without a warrant? Without any probable cause?”
Cryptocurrencies are fundamentally designed to be a form of censorship-resistant money that people can send and receive, peer-to-peer, without a central authority or middleman. They operate in a decentralized environment and aim to give people the same anonymity they achieve when making cash transactions.
As long as Bitcoin exists, Gladstein believes people will be able to use it as a global safety net against authoritarian governments.
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