Potentially, cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin, are capable of changing the financial world. In addition, it is believed that they are used by criminals, possibly for the sale of drugs and weapons. In this regard, the government can apply the law to limit cryptocurrency in general.
This is the Bank Secrecy Act, under which US financial institutions are required to develop policies that help the government track money laundering and other criminal acts. It is possible that the government will expand this law to include cryptocurrencies.
In his speech to the Senate Subcommittee, David Murray, Vice President of the Financial Integrity Network in Washington, recommended “strengthening the rules for cryptocurrencies by creating a new class of financial institutions, namely, validators of transactions with virtual assets.”
He said that the lack of cryptocurrency management creates the optimal conditions for criminals to act and complicates the fight against them.
At the same time, he refers to anonymity, although, for example, Bitcoin is not completely anonymous; tracking it is much more complicated than traditional financial systems, but still doable.
If the Bank Secrecy Act is applied to cryptocurrencies, then cryptocurrency exchanges and other financial organizations will need to inform the government of any suspicious activity. Thus, if a transaction worth tens of thousands of dollars had taken place on the exchange, it would have been verified.
The validators Murray spoke of are miners. In fact, he asks for the regulation of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency miners, which is not considering that they work all over the world and are rather difficult to identify. In addition, miners cannot determine whose transactions they are conducting. Their task is to provide access to a distributed registry, and not to track suspicious transactions.
However, Peter Van Valkenburg, director of research at Coin Center in Washington, notes that the U.S. Treasury may make such a decision. In his opinion, this did not happen, since now the focus is on cryptocurrency exchanges.