US Senator Criticizes Biden Administration for ‘Criminalizing Core Tenants of the Bitcoin network’

US Senator Criticizes Biden Administration for 'Criminalizing Core Tenants of the Bitcoin network'
Table of Contents


  • Senator Cynthia Lummis denounces the US Department of Justice’s restrictive stance on private cryptocurrency wallets.
  • Lummis argues that the DOJ’s position contradicts Treasury guidance and undermines the decentralized essence of cryptocurrencies.
  • The controversy arises in recent cases where the DOJ is seeking criminal charges against non-custodial wallet software developers.

Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) has raised significant criticism of the United States Department of Justice’s (DOJ) stance on non-custodial cryptocurrency software.

Lummis expressed concern about what he called a “restrictive” approach from the DOJ that threatens the decentralized essence of cryptocurrencies.

According to Senator Lummis, this stance not only contradicts existing Treasury guidance, but also undermines the innovation and freedom associated with cryptocurrencies.

In a tweet, Lummis expressed concern about the DOJ’s position, mentioning that it puts at risk the fundamental principles of ownership and freedom inherent to cryptocurrencies.

Additionally, he noted that he will fight for people’s rights to hold their own keys and run their own nodes, crucial aspects for the decentralization of finance.

These comments from Lummis come after two recent cases in which DOJ prosecutors have sought criminal charges against software developers for unlicensed money transmission: a sealed indictment against Bitcoin mixer Samourai Wallet  and a response to the dismissal motion in the case against Tornado Cash developer Roman Storm.

The DOJ‘s interpretation of money transmission laws, which covers wallet developers who have no direct control over users assets, has generated a backlash in the crypto community.

US Senator Criticizes Biden Administration for 'Criminalizing Fundamental Principles of the Bitcoin Network'

In addition to the Senator, the cryptocurrency advocacy group Coin Center Has Spoken

Arguing that it contradicts the existing guidance and decisions of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

In a blog post, Coin Center research director Peter Van Valkenburgh stated that the DOJ’s position would mean that:

“every functional cryptocurrency wallet and smart contract is ‘doing’ money transmission and that every developer is involved in unlicensed money transmission.”

The group has filed an amicus brief in defense of Roman Storm, arguing that the publication of Tornado Cash’s code is constitutionally protected under the First Amendment.

The controversy surrounding these cases reflects a broader debate over regulatory limits and the government’s role in overseeing digital assets and blockchain technologies.

While some like Senator Lummis argue for more flexible regulations that encourage innovation and decentralization, others fear that a restrictive approach could hinder the development and adoption of disruptive technologies such as cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance.


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