The treasury department of the United States of America has made an update to its Specially designed Nationals list, which is under the Foreign Narcotics Designation act. The list was updated with some cryptocurrency addresses. The addresses belong to individuals that are believed to have associations with drug traffickers or are drug traffickers themselves.
The update was made on the 21st of August. Chinese nationals Xiaoping Yan, Fujing Zheng, and Guanghua Zheng are some of the individuals said to be narcotic operators whose addresses have been added to the Foreign Narcotics Designation Act’s list. All three individuals have bitcoin addresses on the list with Guanghua Zheng also having a Litecoin address listed.
According to an explanation issued to the public in 2015 by the White House, the Kingpin Act was put in place to hinder U.S. entities-including individuals and organizations, from transacting with known with Narcotics traffickers. The Act brings together government branches in investigating drug traffickers known in the U.S. Their details are then added on to the SDN list which is then issued to the president, who decides if it is okay to impose U.S. sanctions on the names on the list.
The U.S. treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin believes that coins like Bitcoin are vulnerable to money laundering and funding terror activities. The secretary had made a promise to monitor Bitcoin for any illicit involvements closely. He also believes that compared to the U.S. dollar, Bitcoins are more effectively used to launder money.
“We’re going to make sure that bitcoin doesn’t become the equivalent of Swiss-numbered bank accounts, which were a risk to the financial system,” said Mnuchin in an interview with CNBC.
“I want to be careful that anybody who’s using bitcoin — regardless of what the price is — is using it for proper purposes and not illicit purposes,” he added.
According to Steve Mnuchin, the United States has the most robust anti-money laundering system which aids the government in combating illicit U.S. dollar activities.
Will the U.S. government win this war against crypto being used for illicit purposes? Only time will tell.
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