Senator Elizabeth Warren has stressed the growing threat of cryptocurrency scams targeting senior citizens across America, with a cybersecurity expert endorsing her legislation on digital assets to curb future fraud.
At a recent Senate hearing, Warren outlined a steep increase in crypto schemes preying on elderly people in the U.S.:
Last year, we saw a 350% increase in digital assets investment scams targeting seniors. That is the biggest spike among all age groups. That added up to more than $1 billion that seniors lost in crypto scams.
Cybersecurity authority Steve Weisman, praised by Warren, said digital currencies anonymity makes tracing difficult after passing through mixers, unlike credit card fraud.
Steve expressed that while digital currencies entering mixers poses challenges, people’s privacy right is also a valid point. But he doesn’t see it outweighing the risk of falling into scammer traps.
Weisman vouched for Warren’s Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, which would subject cryptocurrencies to the same anti-money laundering laws as cash. Weisman believes this legislation is greatly needed and makes total sense.
The bill comes as recent reports show a 153% increase in crypto hacks and scams compared to last year, with around $686 million in losses just last quarter.
9 More Senators Support Crypto Regulation
Warren recently announced 9 additional senators backing the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, including Gary Peters on the Homeland Security Committee and Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin.
The bill would empower agencies like the SEC and CFTC to oversee cryptocurrencies within their jurisdictions. It aims to close regulatory gaps exploited by criminals while encouraging innovation.
Even with the risks in digital assets, Warren stated she isn’t looking to ban digital money, instead, she wants proper safekeeping measures. Stealing money or tricking people, even under the name of crypto, isn’t right, she expressed.
While digital currencies proponents argue regulation stifles growth, authorities have warned scopes like Bitcoin ATMs enable money laundering. Stricter rules could make digital assets safer for adoption.
Warren’s initiative, if passed, would be a milestone step in constructing coherent oversight frameworks for the ascendant crypto economy. With digital asset crimes becoming more prevalent, securing protections for vulnerable groups is an urgent necessity.