Proposed U.S. regulation around cryptocurrencies might be counterproductive, the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee said Thursday.
A proposed Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) counterparty rule would impose a heavy burden on cryptocurrency firms but may not actually combat illicit activity, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) wrote in a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
He also described draft Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidance as “concerning,” noting it contradicted existing FinCEN guidance.
“Cryptocurrencies stand to dramatically improve consumers’ privacy, access to financial services, and power to make decisions for themselves,” the letter said. “Some have argued that cryptocurrency is a technology that could be as revolutionary as the internet.”
A FinCEN spokesperson said the agency does not comment on open rulemakings, noting the regulator has already extended the comment period twice. “We appreciate Sen. Toomey’s recognition of ‘existing FinCEN guidance, which has successfully provided regulatory clarity in the United States,’” the spokesperson said.