A bill that seeks to create a task force to combat the use of cryptocurrency in financing terrorism has just passed the House of Representatives. House Resolution 5036 (H.R.5036), which purports to establish the “Independent Financial Technology Task Force,” was sent to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, September 26, 2018, before it passed an unanimous voice vote and has now moved to the Senate for consideration.
The proposed bill, which was introduced by Representative Ted Budd, is seen as a positive move from U.S. lawmakers, which aims to mitigate the use of cryptocurrencies in terrorist financing. The task force would focus on researching the ways in which terrorism could be financed through cryptos and propose actions to curb such activity.
In addition to the creation of the task force, the bill would also support the development of tools and programs to detect any illicit use of cryptocurrency.
Public records from Congress indicate that the bill was passed by the House without contention. Seeing as the vote was unanimous and the bill wasn’t a controversial one, the motion to reconsider was laid upon the table and gavelled out, so it will now procede to a vote in the Senate.
In addition to having federal law enforcement studying cryptocurrencies and how terrorists are exploiting them, the bill also proposes rewards for those who provide information that leads to the conviction of those involved in crypto terrorism financing. These rewards will be paid out from the funds seized from convicts, as well as from related fines and forfeitures.
H.R.5036 is seen by many as a more robust version of another cryptocurrency-related bill. Released earlier last year, the House of Representatives introduced the “Homeland Security Assessment of Terrorists Use of Virtual Currencies Act” which seeks to make a proper threat assessment on the use of cryptocurrencies by terrorists.
One of the talking points of the Act is the way it defines virtual currencies. It defines virtual currencies as any digital representation of value functioning as a medium of exchange, store of value or a unit of account. This broad definition includes bitcoin, ether, a virtual debit card and even a Paypal balance.
Clarification: An earlier version of this article mistakenly claimed that the bill would not procede to the Senate due to a point of procedure. The error has been corrected.