Cybersecurity expert backs Sen. Warren’s crypto bill in Senate hearing

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United States Senator Elizabeth Warren has emphasized the risks of cryptocurrency scams targeting senior citizens in the U.S., with a cybersecurity expert endorsing her legislation on digital assets to prevent future scams.

In a recent Senate hearing, Warren outlined the significant increase in crypto scams being targeted toward elderly citizens of the United States:

“Last year, we saw a 350% increase in crypto 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.”

Meanwhile, during the hearing, Steve Weisman, a recognized expert on scams and cybersecurity as described by Warren, highlighted that unlike credit card fraud, which can be swiftly identified, stopped, and traced, crypto poses greater challenges with being transparent.

He reiterated that with crypto, once it passes through mixers, tracing becomes significantly more challenging.

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“Once it goes into the mixers, then you have problems. There is a legitimate privacy concern that people may have, but it does not come anywhere near to the scammers.”

Weisman expressed support for Warren’s Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, which seeks to ensure that digital assets are subject to the same Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws as traditional fiat currency.

“Your legislation is long overdue. It is a no-brainer,” Weisman declared.

Related: Impersonation scams in crypto, explained

This follows recent reports indicating a significant increase in crypto hacks and scams during the latest quarter compared to 2022.

Blockchain security firm Immunefi reported a 153% surge in attack incidents targeting crypto and Web3 projects from July to September 2023, compared to the corresponding period in 2022. The recent quarter saw losses of approximately $686 million.

Warren recently revealed that nine more U.S. senators have publicly supported the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Notably, Gary Peters, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Dick Durbin, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are among those supporting the initiative.

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