RESTRICT Act may be Used to Outlaw Bitcoin, Says Coin Center

Proposed US Bill to Restrict Foreign Tech Transactions Raises Concerns About Broad Cryptocurrency Ban.
RESTRICT Act may be Used to Outlaw Bitcoin, Says Coin Center

Recently, Senators Warner and Thune introduced the RESTRICT Act to avoid transactions and financial holdings with international adversaries for national security. If the bill becomes law, it could be a threat to crypto, says Coin Center.

The bill will establish new procedures in order to “identify, deter, disrupt, prevent, prohibit, and mitigate transactions involving information and communications technology products in which any foreign adversary has any interest.” 

The bill was introduced ahead of a congressional hearing on Tik-Tok last week, during which officials interrogated the CEO of the social media platform over the company’s connections to China. 

According to Coin Center’s Director of Research, Peter Van Valkenburgh, the bill’s wording is so wide that it might be used to stop Americans from using networks like Bitcoin or conducting cryptocurrency transactions altogether.

Peter Van Valkenburgh states that the primary concern of the advocacy group with the RESTRICT Act is that it would establish a system within the Secretary of Commerce that would essentially operate in parallel with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Treasury Department.

As a result, according to Van Valkenburgh, the system would be “redundant” and establish “two different executive branch components [that] can independently and without many procedural checks ban technologies.”

Another issue with the law is the potential reach of the word “interest,” which, according to the advocacy group, could be “exploited in order to bar Americans from utilising entire classes of technologies” if read widely.

Also Read: G7 Seeks tighter Crypto Rules after FTX Collapse

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