Article: Crypto Lobby Forms to Shake Reputation as Criminals’ Currency

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Crypto Lobby Forms to Shake Reputation as Criminals’ Currency

Joe Light, 06 April 2021

Even as cryptocurrencies steadily gain support on Wall Street, they’re still regarded by regulators as a tool for criminals to conceal shady transactions — posing a challenge to the nascent industry as it seeks to win wider respect.

That’s creating a potentially lucrative opportunity for new groups in Washington advocating for digital currencies. Some prominent crypto lobbying organizations say they’ve increased their membership and raised millions of dollars to help improve the industry’s image.

While banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are exploring digital assets for certain clients, recent actions by regulators show an uncertain road ahead. Late last month, an international anti-fraud watchdog proposed regulations that crypto advocates say would squash a large part of their industry.

The recommendations, from the 39-member Financial Action Task Force, would increase surveillance of many cryptocurrency transactions. They come on the heels of a similar anti-money-laundering proposal from the U.S. Treasury Department that could be finalized later this year. Many crypto proponents are opposed to increased surveillance.

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