A nonprofit crypto policy advocacy organization Coin Center’s executive director Jerry Brito urged US residents to call elected officials of their area regarding a new bill that House leaders have proposed. He wants people to make these leaders aware of privacy concerns related to this bill.
America COMPETES Act
This act has been released recently by the House leaders. In a Twitter thread on Wednesday, Jerry claims the bill has a provision that will cause problems to crypto users in terms of due process and privacy. The bill section pertaining to conditions or prohibitions on fund transfers as proposed by Rep. Jim Himes will give the US Treasury Secretary unilateral and unchecked power. The secretary can block exchanges and financial institutions engaged in crypto transactions.
Wide-Ranging Powers to the Treasury Secretary
The Treasury Secretary under this framework can use Bank Secrecy Act and force financial institutions to provide information about transactions that may be related to cases of money laundering. These institutions will be prohibited from providing their services to account holders who are suspected of dealing in illicit funds. According to Jerry, current checks placed on the authority of the Treasury Secretary will not apply.
Presently there are some limitations placed on the power of the Treasury Secretary. The law stipulates that before declaring a prohibition, the public should be engaged in the rulemaking. The secretary has the power to order a surveillance measure, but the duration of the order should not exceed 120 days, and it should include a mandatory public rulemaking. This process, even with its limitations, allows the public an opportunity to provide inputs and prevent the creation of rules that can go against them.