The US House of Representatives has passed the "Advancing Innovation To Assist Law Enforcement Act." The bill calls on the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to conduct a study of the use of blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and other technologies by the agency and provide the report to the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee.
Forbes reported on Thursday that the Senate received the bill from the House on Monday as it was referred to the Senate Banking Committee. It was sponsored by senators Anthony Gonzalez (Republican – Ohio), Tom Emmer (Republican – Minnesota) and Ben McAdams (Democrat (Utah).
The bill puts the onus on FinCEN to conduct research on the implementation and use of Blockchain and AI and how it can leverage these technologies to make FinCEN's data analysis more effective and efficient. It will also work on faster dissemination of information regarding investigative leads to Federal, State and Tribal law enforcement officials.
It will be then ordained to provide a report to the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee on its findings and determinations based on the research. The main purpose behind the endeavour is to use Blockchain to fight financial crime.
"This is a Fintech bill. This is a technology bill. This bill takes the first step to revolutionize the way law enforcement works...using artificial intelligence, blockchain, and other emerging technologies," Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) Ranking Member, House Financial Services Committee, told Forbes.
The larger issue at hand is to modernise law enforcement for financial crimes, especially ones related to cryptocurrency and Fintech. Most importantly, this technology could act as a weapon in the hands of terrorists and countries such as North Korea, and pre-emptive action needs to be taken before such a situation takes place.
Currently, Blockchain is being used by cartels, terrorist organisations and traffickers as a tool to finance illegal activities. It has allowed the shipment of drugs such as Fentanyl into communities across the US.
Legislation and research on Blockchain will not only grant it legitimacy, but also put legal protections in its usage. The Blockchain industry seems excited by this development.
Kristin Smith, Director of the Blockchain Association, told Forbes, "The potential of blockchain technology to revolutionise entire sectors of the global economy is just beginning to be understood. This bill is a recognition of that potential and we're happy that FinCEN is being encouraged to solve some of the trickiest problems in finance using this technology."