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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
  • The house Passed June 25th, 2018
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      House Committee on Energy and Commerce
      House Committee on Financial Services
    IntroducedJune 12th, 2018

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What is it?

This bill would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report on the use of virtual currencies and online marketplaces in sex and drug trafficking. The GAO would be required to report on how illicit proceeds are transferred into the U.S. banking system; state and non-state actors that benefit from or participate in such activity; and preventative efforts from federal and state agencies.

The report would be provided to relevant congressional committees and include a summary of its findings along with recommendations for legislation or regulations “that would improve the efforts of federal agencies to impede the use of virtual currencies and online marketplaces in facilitating sex and drug trafficking.”

Impact

Cryptocurrencies; dark net; and the Government Accountability Office.

Cost

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA) introduced this bill to require a report on the use of virtual currencies in crimes such as sex trafficking and illegal drug sales:

“The anonymity behind virtual currencies has made them a preferred payment method to carry out illegal activities… Congress must understand the full extent of how virtual currencies are being used to facilitate drug and sex trafficking and propose legislative solutions to fight these crimes.”

This bill has two cosponsors -- one Democrat and one Republican.


Of NoteVirtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Dash, Zcash, and Monero, which offer anonymity to their users, are rapidly becoming the preferred financial payment method for illicit activities thanks to their untraceable natures. Virtual currencies are quickly becoming the default payment method for goods and services associated with illegal sex and drug trafficking — two of the most detrimental and troubling activities facilitated by online marketplaces and the dark web.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, in its 2017 National Drug Assessment, reported that transnational criminal organizations are increasingly using virtual currencies for illicit activities, including drug trafficking. It has also been reported that virtual currencies are being used to run online drug marketplaces, including fentanyl, and contributing to the opioid crisis.



Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: jpgfactory / iStock)

AKA

Fight Illicit Networks and Detect Trafficking Act

Official Title

To require the Comptroller General of the United States to carry out a study on how virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used to buy, sell, or facilitate the financing of goods or services associated with sex trafficking or drug trafficking, and for other purposes.

    Cryptocurrency is a brave new world of economics. If this bill only authorizes the study of currency use practices, may it reveal to Congress the extent to which the Dark Web is used with traditional currencies as well. The appeal of cryptocurrencies is that they are "decentralized" but for law enforcement will surely need insight into how approach illicit uses of this new technology / currency. Let us not forget, however, the need to update law enforcement to be able to approach all kinds of cyber crimes, in particular: sexual harassment and threats.
    Like (9)
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    Let’s be real: if their line of questioning about Facebook is any indication, lawmakers are going to be over their heads in stupid questions trying to understand blockchain technology.
    Like (12)
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    This would Completely disregard the whole point of a decentralized currency just one step closer to eventually being regulated by the government going back to the thing cryptos we’re trying to combat in the first place
    Like (12)
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    Just because cryptocurrency is decentralized does not mean that the Fed shouldn’t have the right to access this information to help stop sex trafficking in the United States. We should be cautious, however, of the power we give the Fed - as long as they are using the information for investigation and not attempting to regulate use, this would be an incredible asset to them.
    Like (7)
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    Would this actually get the Government to investigate sex and drug trafficking, since they are not doing much right now? Why does it matter what currency is being used to commit unethical, unlawful crimes ?? Do we really need more bills and more legislation to go after criminals?
    Like (5)
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    They’re going use this bill to regulate crypto as a whole. How about just stick to busting sex trafficking rings as a whole instead of the currency they use.
    Like (4)
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    Waste of money
    Like (3)
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    Yes of course if it’s possible to trace.
    Like (3)
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    Sex trafficking is much larger than many people realize and investigating cryptocurrencies role would help combat trafficking
    Like (3)
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    Sex and drug trafficking are serious crimes and it makes sense for the federal government to investigate whether cryptocurrencies are being used to facilitate them. 6*25*28 .....
    Like (3)
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    It is almost certain that crypto currency is being used for illegal activities and need to be investigated.
    Like (3)
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    Why not, aren't they investigating drugs trafficking already?
    Like (2)
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    Our government should Always Work to protect children and women from any criminal actions. Crypto currency is that One Thing that this government does not have its hands in, and that is also what this is about.
    Like (2)
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    Sex and drug trafficking are serious crimes and it makes sense for the federal government to investigate whether cryptocurrencies are being used to facilitate them.
    Like (2)
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    Criminal activities should always be investigated.
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    Cash is also anonymous. Congress wouldn't even understand what they were studying.
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    How ‘bout taking care of serious business, how about immigration, how about tax structure that only benefits the upper class, ...... or oh forget it! Republican politicians are useless!
    Like (1)
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    Yes. And while we’re at it, they should investigate the potential risk of these currencies to do serious damage to our economy, given that everyone and your mother is jumping on board this bandwagon now.
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    Thanks for slipping in the Drug War. Take that out and this is an excellent bill.
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    It just sounds awful, I mean anything with that starts with CRYPTO sounds like something nasty 🧟‍♂️ 💰⚔️going on or something sickening 🤢 😷 is happening.
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