Big Banks want to kill crypto to consolidate their power, and now they’re supporting a Congressional proposal to do just that.
Recent news reports have uncovered Big Banks’ support for the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2023 (DAAMLA). This bill from Senators Warren, Marshall, Manchin and Graham rather than crackdown on money laundering, sanctions violations, crypto-crime, scams and bad actors as hoped, would undermine online human rights and access to privacy-protecting technology. We need thoughtful regulation to stop bad actors in the crypto and digital assets space and to keep consumers safe from another FTX situation, but such regulation cannot involve putting Big Banks’ interest first. Fight for the Future is urging members of Congress to reject attempts by Big Banks to use the legislative process as an opportunity to squash competition.
Big banks would like nothing more than to kill potential competition from decentralized alternatives that could offer vulnerable communities surveillance-free options. Worse, these same big banks are trying to promote their own digital currencies. Bank executives are already putting their thumb on the scale in favor of state-backed digital currencies to counter cryptocurrencies. Any lawmaker who cares about stopping the abusive practices of bad actors should be equally wary of Big Bank support. The bad actions of banks and traditional financial institutions has led consumers to seek safer alternatives in the first place.
Historically, banks have created obstacles for consumers through exclusionary loan eligibility criteria, leading to the exclusion of women and minorities from accessing essential financial services for generations. The recent enforcement action against Bank of America by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) shows the bank’s harmful practices, including double-dipping on fees, withholding rewards from credit card customers, and misusing sensitive customer information to open unauthorized accounts. Money transfer services like Western Union have also been complicit in illegal surveillance by handing over millions of records to ICE without a fight. Big banks’ actions have harmed countless consumers, emphasizing the critical importance of seeking alternatives that prioritize privacy and transparency.
We need policies that create a safe environment for everyday users, not those designed to kill privacy-preserving technologies in favor of widespread surveillance and Big Bank control. To truly address the harms of crypto, Congress should prioritize consumer protection and privacy, not the interest of Big Banks, so that people have real choice in their finances. Fight for the Future is committed to protecting digital rights, including anonymity, financial and data privacy. We will continue to push for lawmakers to center the rights of users in all regulations upon their return from recess.