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Senator Warren questions blockchain industry's ethics in hiring government officials, Blockchain Association responds

The US Blockchain Association's response letter defends the inclusion of ex-military and intelligence officers in the crypto industry.

Senator Warren questions blockchain industry's ethics in hiring government officials, Blockchain Association responds

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The US Blockchain Association recently responded to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s letter concerning the participation of former national security officials in the digital asset industry. As a leading nonprofit organization representing over 100 member companies in the United States, the Association emphasized the value of blockchain technology in enhancing anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism efforts in their letter. 

Previously, Senator Warren expressed concerns about the Blockchain Association’s attempts to recruit potential employees who are still working in public service for jobs following their government tenure, as mentioned in her ‘X’ account:

“It also reveals significant gaps in the nation’s ethics laws. These gaps allow former government officials – including former national security officials – to leave their positions in the public trust and almost immediately cash in and work as lobbyists or advisers for private-sector industries with a keen interest in federal policy.” 

In its response, the Blockchain Association highlighted the benefits of open blockchain networks. The Association explained that these networks equip law enforcement agencies with advanced tools for tracking illicit funds globally. The response also illuminated how the core values of cryptocurrency technology—openness, privacy, and financial inclusion—align with fundamental American values. 

Regarding the hiring and recruitment of former government officials, the Association stated in its letter:

“While Blockchain Association does not currently employ anyone with the credentials listed in your first question, we are fortunate and proud to count many former military, national security, intelligence officers, and law enforcement professionals among our membership. These individuals served their country admirably while in the public sphere protecting our nation – many as combat veterans to whom we owe an enormous debt of gratitude. After leaving government, these public servants could have chosen from myriad, well-deserved professional opportunities. But they were drawn to work in the emerging digital asset industry because they value freedom and creativity, sovereignty of the individual, and permissionless innovation.”

The Association also used its response to discuss the potential negative impacts of Senator Warren’s legislative approach on the US crypto industry. They argued that the proposed regulations could push the sector to jurisdictions with less oversight, ultimately limiting the ability of US authorities to protect consumers. 

Last month, Senator Warren proposed a bill in the US to tighten crypto regulations. Known as the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, the bill aims to combat the potential use of cryptocurrencies in money laundering and other illegal activities. If passed, it would extend existing anti-money laundering (AML) laws and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations to various entities in the digital asset space.

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