Trump budget puts crypto in secret service crosshairs

Trump budget puts crypto in secret service crosshairs

The measure is outlined in the new presidential budget, which pledges more funding for the Treasury to combat crimes involving the use of cryptocurrency.

“Technological advancements in recent decades, such as cryptocurrencies and the increasing interconnectedness of the international financial marketplace, have resulted in more complex criminal organizations,” reads the summary. “The Budget proposes legislation to return the U.S. Secret Service to Treasury to create new efficiencies in the investigation of these crimes and prepare the Nation to face the threats of tomorrow.”

## A presidential exercise

The increased funding for the treasury would be allocated to several different treasury agencies that have each put forth their own appeals for the money.

FinCEN, the Treasury bureau that collects financial information to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and other crimes, is seeking $819,000 and three employees to support the development of its “Virtual Currency and Cyber Threat Mitigation Program.”

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), wants $40 million to expand its investigations relating to virtual currency. And OFAC, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, wants an additional $812,000 to hire “virtual currency investigators.”

But whether or not these Treasury departments will get their additional funding remains to be seen. While the presidential budget gives some insight into the White House’s spending priorities, what Congress decides to fund is another matter entirely.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Senate Budget Chairman Mike Enzi suggested Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget was unlikely to have much real influence on policy:

“Congress doesn’t pay any attention to the president’s budget exercise. It’s all it is – an exercise,” said Enzi. “Congress holds the purse strings, according to the Constitution, and Congress is very protective of that constitutional authority.”