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30 May 2024
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President Joe Biden Plans to Criminalize Bitcoin Software Developers, Says Senator Cynthia Lummis

Cynthia Lummis, the Bitcoin-supporting U.S. senator from Wyoming, has stated that the Biden administration has been trying to criminalize the development of the Bitcoin software while trying to wrongfully apply FinCEN laws.

Drop FinCEN Interpretation for Bitcoin

In a joint effort, U.S. Senators Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have penned a letter addressed to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, expressing profound concerns regarding what they perceive as a divergence in the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) interpretation of “money transmission” regulations.

Furthermore, they also argue that this deviation from the well-established definition outlined by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) could potentially criminalize fundamental aspects of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency networks. Moreover, they assert that this change inhibits responsible financial innovation within the United States.

Senator Lummis articulated, “The Biden administration’s alteration of FinCEN’s interpretation not only strays from legal precedent but also undermines the entrepreneurial spirit that drives America’s global economic prominence.”

She emphasized the importance of distinguishing between wallet software and illicit finance, likening the former to a highway and refuting the notion that it is responsible for facilitating criminal activities. Thus,  Lummis remains steadfast in her commitment to preserving individuals’ rights to self-custody of their assets and ensuring that the burgeoning Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry can operate within the bounds of the law. She also asserts that safeguarding the right to store private keys in personal wallets is paramount.

Don’t Treat Software Developers As Criminals

Senator Wyden emphasized the necessity for robust law enforcement against individuals utilizing digital assets for money laundering or tax evasion while cautioning against conflicting interpretations of the law by law enforcement agencies.

Expressing his apprehension, Wyden stated, “I’m concerned that the DOJ’s interpretation would unjustly categorize software developers as criminals simply for creating and disseminating code utilized by others – a precedent that contradicts established legal norms and raises significant First Amendment issues.”

Wyden, along with Senator Lummis, urged the Justice Department to align its approach with that of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, prioritizing action against individuals illicitly transmitting digital assets rather than targeting software developers and innovators.

Amid the high-handed actions of the Biden administration, Republican candidate Donald Trump has extended help to support the crypto industry if he comes to power. Several top personalities from the crypto space also believe that Trump would be better than Biden when it comes to handling crypto regulations.

The post President Joe Biden Plans to Criminalize Bitcoin Software Developers, Says Senator Cynthia Lummis appeared first on CoinGape.

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