As if a legal paladin arriving after the FTX crypto-trading scandal served as a terrific “narrative driver” to portray all crypto traders as nefarious and in need of government chains, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on December 14 introduced a ready-made bill to “regulate” the anonymous, non-government, digital-currency she’s known to despise.
She’s given it the noble title of “Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2022,” pumped it out following the well-publicized “fall” of FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried – that fall, itself coming after a strange, years-long promotion by pop media and among leftists in D.C. depicting him as an heroic, altruistic entrepreneur.
Heck, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) even blew him a kiss after they met.
Of course, it appears as if a large portion of Bankman-Fried’s unbalanced FTX ledger was funded via the U.S.-subsidized government of Ukraine, and that facilitated Sammy’s $40 million in campaign contributions to Democrats, making him the second-biggest donor to the Dems in the 2021-2022 cycle behind the all-enlightened George Soros, and ahead of Michael “Ban The Guns” Bloomberg, and it does seem odd that, once the election was over, FTX suddenly got exposed for all this alleged fraud.
But the Grayzone’s Kit Klarenberg has done an excellent job condensing what we know about the collapse:
“FTX’s destruction resulted from a mass sell-off of the company’s native bitcoin token, FTT, by the rival exchange, Binance. Its value plummeted, prompting a three-day ‘run’ on billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency, which in turn created – or exposed – a ‘liquidity crisis’ within FTX, as it did not have the available assets required to redeem client withdrawals. FTX filed for bankruptcy on November 11th.”
This, by the way, was precisely what should have happened to the Federal Reserve, when it was exposed in the late ‘60s, during the end of the so-called “tie to gold”. Like FTX, the Fed Banks didn’t have anywhere near the real gold assets they claimed for the number of “notes” they’d released over the years. But in 1971, Richard Nixon kept the scam going by negotiating with OPEC nations to “tie” the Federal Reserve Note (erroneously called The Dollar) to oil sales in the Middle East, allowing the Fed to continue the money-printing, government-funding scheme and inflate the currency on average 2.5 percent (compounded) each year.
And now that Bankman-Fried has been arrested, and FTX is being used as a purported “example” of why crypto needs the lily-white hands of people like Liz Warren to control it, her bill somehow, almost spontaneously, appears to rescue us all.
Co-sponsored by Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan), the “Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2022” might launch a lot of proverbial red flags, not merely for how it portrays crypto-currency (and its users) as a “threat to national security,” but for how it extends the cancerous and fallacious notion that the federal government has any appropriate role in controlling the money we choose to use or the trades we peacefully make – in anything.
First, get this: the bill will label as a “Money Service Business” anyone who simply owns a private crypto wallet to store his digital currency. And with that designation comes a requirement that:
“Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) shall promulgate a rule that requires United States persons engaged in a transaction with a value greater than $10,000 in digital assets through 1 or more accounts outside of the United States to file a report described in section 1010.350 of 20 title 31, Code of Federal Regulations…”
And since the nature of crypto is that it is supposed to be anonymous and decentralized, passing through any number of exchanges, worldwide, it’s likely that anyone in the US making a transfer of that amount will feel compelled to report it to the feds.
And it gets even more pervasive and invasive – completely stymying one of the major appeals of crypto-currency: privacy.
Warren’s bill will require any person operating a digital currency “kiosk” – which operates like a digital-crypto ATM – to register with the feds, then re-register the physical address of the kiosk every three months, and it will require the owner of the kiosk to register every single user when he or she makes a transaction. Warren’s bill tells FINCEN that, no later than a year after the passage, FINCEN will draw up commands:
“…requiring digital asset kiosk owners and administrators to— (1) verify the identity of each customer using a valid form of government-issued identification or other documentary method, as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury; and (2) collect the name, date of birth, physical address, and phone number of each counterparty to the transaction.”
And, what a shock, Warren’s bill makes it virtually impossible for banks to translate crypto of any kind into those wondrous “Federal Reserve Notes” they keep creating and making less and less valuable. It states:
“(T)he Secretary of the Treasury shall promulgate a rule that prohibits financial institutions from … handling, using, or transacting business with digital asset mixers, privacy coins, and other anonymity-enhancing technologies."
What a shock. Warren wants to destroy a means of exchange that might circumvent the snooping, money-hungry Uncle Sam and the unstable U.S. Federal Reserve Note.
As J.D. Tucille notes for Reason, those are two of the key appeals of crypto, as has been shown in nations like Venezuela and Vietnam, where freedom-loving crypto-users have successfully used Bitcoin and other anonymous digital currencies to avoid dangerously inflated government money and avoid shaky, government-licensed banks.
Tucille also notes that Warren’s aggression against real crypto comes as a forerunner to an attack on physical cash, which also allows for anonymous exchange, even though it is constantly watered-down by the Fed.
“Bitcoin and other digital tokens have their flaws, but they're an attempt to fulfill a widespread desire for reliable stores of value and means of exchange independent of control. And while all such forms of money are vulnerable to fraud and theft, that's already illegal. The Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2022 doesn't even attempt to address such crimes, instead, it's an attack on financial privacy and liberty. For all the reasons politicians are coming after crypto, you can bet that cash is next.”
Indeed, as I wrote for MRCTV in April, Warren is hell-bent on imposing on Americans a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) that will strip everyone of their anonymity, give the federal government the power to shut down our ability to enter into market exchanges, give the government the power to incentivize use the CBDC on government-preferred investments and purchases, and even allow the government to regionalize or time-kill the use of our money.
Real crypto is a threat to that kind of technocratic system, and, as she has exhibited with previous work writing “regulations” and legalese for the US economy that, as a lawyer, she soon helped paying customers navigate (see Peter Schweizer’s book, “Profiles in Corruption” for a detailed look at that), Warren’s motives appear quite transparent to anyone who pays attention.
Moreover, the deeper problem of people assuming that the federal government has ANY place “regulating” our cash or investments is clear, and it has been for as long as U.S. politicians like the corrupt Alexander Hamilton pushed central banking onto the people and as long as D.C. politicians claimed they could “regulate” anything going over state borders.
Those underlying assumptions feed Warren’s thirst for power, and this bill is a scion of those kinds of erroneous beliefs -- beliefs in what clearly are unsanctioned federal power-grabs.
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