While all eyes stared at the headlines of Donald Trump’s foreign ministry project, few saw the hidden mandate in which foreign governments should monitor the circulation of crypto-currencies as a measure to combat “illicit finance trends” in a “to combat terrorism”, and to apply sanctions to such countries, some of which have already been named in the official document: “Combating the aggressions of the governments of Iran, the Russian Federation and North Korea.”
The bill requires governments around the world to develop a “national security strategy” to combat “financing of terrorism and related illicit financing”. Governments will also have to monitor “data on trends in illicit finance, including the evolution of forms of securities transfer, such as so-called crypto-currencies.” According to the bill, the initial draft strategy is expected to be presented to Congress next year and will see input from US financial regulators, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department.
The new bill echoes another bill introduced in May as part of a larger National Security Department legislative package. Like the DHS bill, the new sanctions law does not constitute a change in policy, but simply warns that Congress is taking steps to explore the issue more closely. This is preceded largely by well-known cases, the CEO of BTC-E Alexander Vinnik in Greece or ransomware type virus, among which is the attack called WannaCry, which affected hundreds of companies worldwide sequestering their files and Extorting the victims with the collection of Bitcoins. Last year, the FBI’s Internet Crime Reporting Center received about 2,673 complaints from ransomware.
US authorities, including the FBI, arrested Alexander Vinnik, a 37-year-old Russian, after being involved in a money-laundering offense. The funds were in the BTC-e exchange portfolios giving more reason to the institutions and government of Donald Trump to study, take action and get closer to the world of crypto-currencies. However, Yaya Fanusie, a CIA analyst at the Sanctions and Illicit Financing Center, commented that the crypto-currencies should not be taken by enemies or incompatible with the current legal system, as money laundering deals, the Criminals also use FIAT money. Governments seem to be aware that crypto-currencies are already a reality and are the near future and a very important part of the economic/financial world.