The US government released a report asserting it has extraterritorial jurisdiction over all crypto-related businesses, suggesting that everyone born on earth is subject to US jurisdiction.

In Brief

  • The DoJ’s Crypto Enforcement Framework takes a broad-brush approach at global crypto regulation.
  • Zcash, Monero and Dash are crypto’s mentioned in the report for criminal behaviour.
  • The report indirectly raises concerns on whether offline cash-exchange freedoms will be extended online.

The Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework issued by the US Department of Justice stipulates a number of cases where it will exert its authority over foreign actors: “where virtual asset transactions touch financial, data storage, or other computer systems within the United States”, if they use cryptocurrency to import illegal products into the US or if they “provide illicit services to defraud or steal from U.S. residents”.
The framework also apparently applies to foreign entities that engage in money transactions in the country or even if they’re incorporated abroad.
In addition, the DOJ even claims to have such authority to prosecute foreign actors who use cryptocurrency to support terrorist activities:
Finally, it bears emphasizing that if conduct involving virtual currency were to violate the U.S. statutes regarding material support of terrorism, the U.S. government could appropriately assert jurisdiction over such offenses anywhere in the world, consistent with due process, under the principle of protective jurisdiction.
The report cites Zcash, Monero, and DASH usage as “indicative of possible criminal behaviour.”
Incredibly, the framework purports that “rogue states”, lumping in Russia with the likes of Iran and North Korea who apparently might use cryptocurrency to fund cyberattacks intended to undermine the US national security.
Finally, it alleges that “certain terrorist groups have solicited cryptocurrency donations running into the millions of dollars via online social media campaigns.” 
The document cites ‘”crime” or “criminal” 168 times, which indicates a not-so-subtle attack on the crypto space. This umbrella-approach suggests that anyone born on earth falls under US jurisdiction for the simple act of existing.
Bearing in mind that the vast majority of cryptocurrency users are law-abiding citizens, the framework appears to be invariably punishing all crypto users instead of tackling crime ahead of the introduction of CBDC’s across many jurisdictions. Additionally, the approach raises the question of whether the rights enjoyed today via cash payments should be extended online. Indeed, should the relative privacy enjoyed by cash transactions be available in online transactions, or will this be considered a thing of the past in this brave new world?
In July 2020, an Ethereum-based USDC address was censored by law-enforcement, which is in stark contrast to censorship resistant money such as bitcoin.

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