July 13, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 118 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
ADDRESSING DIGITAL CURRENCY; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 118
(Extensions of Remarks - July 13, 2017)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E981] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] ADDRESSING DIGITAL CURRENCY ______ HON. ROGER WILLIAMS of texas in the house of representatives Thursday, July 13, 2017 Mr. WILLIAMS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to address digital currency. This new financial platform is recreating the structures of international finance, and in part offers many exciting opportunities for our future. However, our nation must ensure that the rise of digital currency, and its use within our borders, does not help aid the actions of terrorists, criminals, and others who want to hurt us. In recent weeks, the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance of the House Financial Services Committee, led by its chairman, Congressman Steve Pearce, held a critical hearing entitled ``Virtual Currency: Financial Innovation and National Security Implications.'' Mr. Speaker, at this hearing, the serious national security implications of digital currency, and its use by terrorists was examined. Unless we in Congress develop rational and balanced policies, we may be enabling the very terrorists who wish to destroy us. Of particular concern is that many of the leading digital currencies are not compliant with the ``Anti-Money Laundering'' and ``Know Your Customer'' requirements that we demand of our other financial institutions. This lack of compliance provides a widely opened door for forces of evil to finance their terrible endeavors. The question, Mr. Speaker, is how we are able to balance our desire to protect our nation and innocents around the world from terror, while not losing our freedoms or economic opportunities. At this time, virtually all the world's digital currencies are not compliant with the critical AML/KYC standards we expect of our other institutions. Some in the digital currency world argue that digital finance requires a relaxation of these standards. This is absolutely incorrect. I encourage Congress to continue its efforts to study digital finance, and I am hopeful that, in the coming weeks, our focus will attend to the issue of AML/KYC compliance, highlighting those currencies that refuse to provide this safeguard, and examining and encouraging those who do. ____________________