The revelation that the recent attack in southern Israel, which allegedly killed 1,200 Israelis, was partially funded by cryptocurrency has added fuel to efforts led by Senator Elizabeth Warren and others to defend crypto legislation.
Warren’s bill, which has faced opposition from the Digital Chamber of Commerce over concerns it would stifle innovation and market safety, seeks to expand the anti-money laundering requirements outlined in the Act of Bank Secrecy (BSA) to include digital asset wallet providers, cryptominers. , validators and other network participants.
While the bill was not initially expected to pass this year, Hamas’ involvement in the attack could bolster Warren’s case.
“We believe this materially improves the outlook for the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2023 by making it politically difficult for any legislator to oppose a tougher AML/BSA for crypto,” Jaret Seiberg, an analyst at TD Cowen. he said in a research note.
Although the legislation was introduced in July, it has yet to make significant progress toward committee approval.
However, Senator Warren has used the news of Hamas to emphasize the urgency of her proposed measures.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Warren said it is “alarming and should be a wake-up call to lawmakers and regulators that digital wallets connected to Hamas are receiving millions of dollars in cryptocurrency.”
Warren argued that it is crucial to equip law enforcement agencies with the necessary powers to combat cryptocurrency-financed crimes.
The bill was co-sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.V.), known for taking a centrist position on major legislative issues, as well as Republican Sens. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Lindsey Graham (RSC). .
Warren later got additional support from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who leads the Homeland Security panel.
Although the bill has influential supporters, its passage faces challenges in the current Congress, where each party controls one chamber, the House of Representatives has no speaker and government funding expires on November 17.
However, some of Warren’s concerns about money laundering have been addressed in another legislative proposal, a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2024.