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 []



                          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 
   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.