Texas congressman Roger Williams has called for controls on cryptocurrencies to ensure they do not aid crime or terrorist activities.
The rapid rise in popularity of Bitcoin has highlighted the evolution of cryptocurrency. Consequently, it has invited a lot of criticism and skepticism as well. Most skeptics address risks due to high volatility, lack of consumer protection and the possibility of problems in central control on currency in cases of cryptocurrency being used at a large scale.
Williams has called for cryptocurrency startups to be subjected to anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) regulations.
These points were added as an addendum to a hearing entitled "Virtual Currency: Financial Innovation and National Security Implications," held by the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance of the House Financial Services Committee on July 8, 2017.
While Williams acknowledged that cryptocurrency is restructuring international finance and is increasingly offering a wide range of unprecedented opportunities, he stressed that it needs to be monitored.
Since cryptocurrency is run through digital media, it makes it vulnerable to being used by anti-state elements, terrorists and criminals, he claims.
Hence, it must have protective regulations to ensure it is not misused. To accomplish this, Williams suggested that all the cryptocurrencies in circulation must be subject to same legal requirements as the other financial institutions.
The argument put forward by digital currency operators and users is that cryptocurrency requires relaxation of these regulations to function efficiently. Williams disagrees, insisting that safeguards and controls will ensure that criminal activities are not aided and that it is used for betterment only.