US lawmakers want State Department to justify crypto rewards and disclose payouts

The United States lawmakers have proposed an amendment to the State Department Basic Authorities Act of 1956 that includes information on crypto rewards and payouts.

The proposed amendment under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) requires the Department of State, an executive department of the U.S. federal government responsible for the country’s foreign policy and relations, to inform about any crypto payouts or rewards within 15 days of making it.

The NDAA is the name for each of a series of United States federal laws specifying the annual budget and expenditures of the U.S. Department of Defense.

The official document read:

“Not later than 15 days before making a reward in a form that includes cryptocurrency, the secretary of State shall notify the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate of such form for the rewards.”

Apart from the 15 days information period, the State Department must also submit a report to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate within 180 days of enactment of the act, justifying the use of cryptocurrencies as rewards.

The report must include evidence that suggests crypto rewards would encourage more whistleblowers to come forward compared to other “rewards paid out in the United States dollars or other forms of money or nonmonetary items.”

Related: US ethics advisory on federal employee’s crypto has basis in legislation

The said report should also examine whether the use of cryptocurrency could provide bad actors with additional “hard-to-trace funds that could be used for 16 criminal or illicit purposes.”

The proposed amendment could offer more transparency into the State Department’s expenditure on cryptocurrency rewards. Once passed the policy could also offer insight into the federal government’s views on cryptocurrency use for illicit activities, a primary argument used by policymakers against cryptocurrencies.

The Biden government published the ‘first-ever’ comprehensive framework for crypto in September this year following Biden’s executive order in March. The framework offered six principal directions for crypto regulation in the U.S. The framework is sum total of 9 different reports on crypto over the years combined together