US Congress: Crypto not a favorite of terrorists

US Congress: Crypto not a favorite of terrorists

The anti-cryptocurrency pundits like to argue that cryptocurrency is only good for thievery, money laundering and terrorism. They try to make it sound as though fiat is safe and clean—despite a number of instances of institutions (Wells Fargo, American Express, OPKO Health) being targeted by financial and law enforcement over frauds that have resulted in billions of dollars in losses in the past five years. A recent report by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the U.S. disproved that crypto is a haven for criminal activity, and now the U.S. Congress is also showing that this is not the case.

During a recent hearing by the Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance by the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee (HFSC), Congress stated that crypto has not been used nearly as much as traditional financial institutions. It also asserted that, despite attempts by terrorist organizations to raise money through crypto, they haven’t been successful.

The director of analysis for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) Center on Sanction and Illicit Finance, Yaya Fanusie, pointed out that fiat is still the preferred financing method, Forbes reported. He also showed that fiat is still the best anonymous method for financing and that it is still popular among the organizations.

Fanusie did caution, however, that it would be prudent to create measures to better track crypto activity. He said, “By preparing now for terrorists’ increasing usage of cryptocurrencies, the U.S. can limit the ability to turn digital currency markets into a sanctuary for illicit finance.”

It would seem that Fanusie is suggesting that authorities focus their efforts on minor exchanges that offer alternative digital currencies or privacy tokens, and not on the major exchanges. The belief is that the major exchanges, through the implementation of Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering policies, are now in a better position to not be used for nefarious activity.

To help ensure the integrity of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, risk management company LexisNexis launched a partnership with the Blockbid crypto exchange earlier this year. That partnership created an exchange security solution called “Trade with Confidence,” which works to prevent terrorism financing through cryptocurrency.

The HFSC’s Ted Budd also is working to ensure a clean crypto industry. The legislator introduced a bill earlier this year that would offer rewards in exchange for information that brings convictions of anyone funding terrorism through crypto.

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