US senators urge lawmakers to regulate and trace crypto

The call. Two US senators have urged lawmakers to increase measures to regulate and trace cryptocurrencies in order to combat ransomware attacks.

They want the government to do a better job in regulating these digital currencies.

Both senators are on the Intelligence Committee, and they talked about government efforts to combat the growing problem of ransomware that involves cryptocurrency in an interview with NBC News on Sunday.

Senator Roy Blunt recalled that he and Senator Tom Caper were leading the efforts to try to make reporting of ransomware attacks mandatory. However, there was a lot of push back on the matter, because nobody wanted to report that they had been hacked.

The senator elaborated:

“We have a lot of cash requirements in our country, but we haven’t figured out in the country or in the world how to trace cryptocurrency … We’ve got to do a better job here.”

He emphasized that cryptocurrency should not be allowed to be behind the entire system. The only way to get on top of this is to know how pervasive the problem is, try to develop a pattern.

People always pay the ransom, and there are very few consequences. And the fact that ransomware can’t be traced is because cryptocurrencies are the ransom payment of choice now, which is also the reason behind the exponential increase of these attacks.

Another senator, Mark Warner, also commented on cryptocurrency use in ransomware:

“There are some good things coming out of distributed ledger technology, but we are seeing now some of the dark underbelly, the challenges, and that’s why I’m focusing more on transparency.”

He noted that this debate about crypto and ransomware is just starting, so that is why it is important to put in place these transparency requirements.

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