WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Joni Ernst (R-IA) are introducing bipartisan legislation today to help improve oversight of cryptocurrency mining operations in foreign countries. The bill would require the Treasury Department to report to Congress on virtual currencies and their use globally – including how other countries are using and mining cryptocurrencies, and how cryptocurrency mining operations are impacting supply chains, including for critical technologies like semiconductors.
“In order to strengthen U.S. competitiveness, our government must get a better handle on the role that cryptocurrency is playing in the global economy and how it is being leveraged by other countries,” said Senator Hassan. “I’m glad to partner across the aisle with Senator Ernst to help ensure that the Treasury Department stays on top of the use of cryptocurrency, including how it can impact our supply chains.”
Earlier this month, Senator Hassan called on multiple federal agencies, including the Treasury Department, to address current aspects of the cryptocurrency market that allow for criminal usage, such as cyberattacks. Following Senator Hassan’s calls, the Treasury Department announced a number of actions to crack down on the use of cryptocurrency for receiving ransomware payments and conducting other illegal activities. This came after last month’s cyberattack on the Town of Peterborough, which resulted in the theft of $2.3 million in taxpayer dollars, almost all of which was converted into cryptocurrency rendering it nearly impossible to recover. Additionally, during the confirmation hearing for Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Senator Hassan pressed for the agency to take action against illegal uses of cryptocurrency.
To read the bill text, click here.