US House of Representatives Passes New Bill Against Cryptocurrency

If the bill passes the Senate vote, Congress will launch a full investigation against cryptocurrency.

Will McCormick
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Over the last few weeks, countries like South Korea and Japan have been making extreme changes to the policies surrounding cryptocurrency to stop some of the crime issues that have befallen the market.

For the United States, the cryptocurrency market has become infested with crime related to drug activity and sexual trafficking. Congress has been working towards a solution and they have taken a step to improve the situation.

What Did the House of Representatives Vote on This Week?

On Tuesday, the United States House of Representatives unanimously passed a new bill against cryptocurrencies. If the bill passes through the Senate, it approves Congress approval to investigate the use of cryptocurrencies in crime such as drug trading and sex trafficking.

A couple of weeks ago, CoinDesk reported that instructions have been given to the director of the Government Accountability Office to research, "how virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used to buy, sell, or facilitate the financing of goods or services associated with sex or drug trafficking, and for other purposes." The author of the bill, Rep. Juan Vargas said the following in a statement after the bill passed:

"This bill is an important first step in helping Congress understand the full extent of how virtual currencies are being used to facilitate drug and sex trafficking and will help us propose effective legislative solutions to fight these crimes. I hope to see the same level of support for this legislation in the Senate." 

What Does Congress Hope to Learn Through An Investigation?

In January, we reported an in-depth look into how cryptocurrency unintentionally offers criminals opportunities to exploit it. Unfortunately, the market is full of anonymous altcoins such as ZCash, MimbleWimble, and Monero actually encrypt fake addresses and don't track transactions to their sources.

On paper, that makes an altcoin like Monero perfect for criminals to hide in plain sight. For instance, thieves reportedly hacked at least 190,000 Wordpress websites per hour through the altcoin. That's a problem, but Congress is far more interested in drug and sex trafficking.

Congress is seeking an explanation of how virtual currencies are used for illicit transactions and are repatriated into the banking system through money laundering and other methods. Another goal is to identify how both state and federal agencies can halt such transactions and find a new way to prevent criminal activities from abusing the cryptocurrency market and abusing the United States banking system.