US senators aim to amend cybersecurity bill to include crypto

As regulators around the world try to provide frameworks for the digital asset industry, two U.S. senators have introduced a bill to help crypto companies report cybersecurity threats.

U.S. senators Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee, and Cynthia Lummis, Republican of Wyoming, exclusively shared with TechCrunch the reformed legislation, the Cryptocurrency Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which would amend the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 to include cryptocurrency firms. The bill is endorsed by the Electronic Transactions Association.

“Some bad actors have used cryptocurrency as a way to hide their illegal practices and avoid accountability,” Blackburn said in a statement to TechCrunch. “The Cryptocurrency Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act will update existing regulations to address this misuse directly. It will provide a voluntary mechanism for crypto companies to report bad actors and protect cryptocurrency from dangerous practices.”

The bill aims to mitigate losses from a number of cyber-related incidents, including data breaches, ransomware attacks, business interruption and network damage, it stated.

During the second quarter of this year, there was a significant rise in crypto-focused phishing attacks, according to a report by CertiK. In the first half of this year, over $2 billion was lost to hacks and exploits — racking up an amount larger than the entirety of 2021 in half the time, the report stated.

In general, Lummis has been a vocal supporter of the crypto industry and has sponsored and proposed new bills focused on the crypto industry in recent months.

In June, Lummis proposed a bipartisan crypto bill alongside Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, with a goal of installing guide rails around the digital asset sector. The 69-page bill covered a broad range of crypto market subsectors, from how to tax crypto transactions to guidelines for backing stablecoin.

While some find regulation to be a bad thing for innovation and the decentralized nature of crypto, others disagree. As the crypto industry continues to grow in the public light, many market players and regulators say there’s a need for greater transparency and frameworks on how the digital assets could be monitored.