March 27, 2024
Lawmakers, led by Senator Elizabeth Warren, press for strategies to curb cryptocurrency funding of terrorism.
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Senator Elizabeth Warren Leads Lawmakers in Urgent Plea for Crypto Terrorism Prevention

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, representing Massachusetts, led a group of over one hundred lawmakers in a call for high-ranking officials to disclose their strategies for preventing the use of cryptocurrency in financing acts of terrorism. This bipartisan collective, consisting of members from both the Senate and the House of Representatives, delivered a letter on Tuesday to National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Brian Nelson, the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Department of the Treasury.

In the letter, they pointed to reports indicating that cryptocurrency funds had been used to support Hamas in the lead-up to its attack on Israel, with the organization actively seeking Bitcoin donations. They urged the administration to furnish more specific information regarding its plan to thwart the use of cryptocurrency in funding terrorism, stressing the immediate threat posed by such financing for militant groups. The letter implored that Congress and this administration must take decisive action to comprehensively address the risks of illicit cryptocurrency finance before it becomes a source of funding for further tragedies.

Senator Roger Marshall from Kansas and Representative Sean Casten from Illinois also played significant roles in spearheading this initiative. Among the signatories was Senator Sherrod Brown from Ohio, who serves as the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.

Elizabeth Warren has been a vocal advocate for her legislation designed to combat money laundering and sanctions violations within the cryptocurrency sphere. Senator Marshall co-sponsored this bill with her. Nonetheless, this proposed legislation, which has faced resistance from cryptocurrency lobbyists who argue that it could pose significant challenges to the industry in the United States, has yet to gain traction at the committee level, making it a less likely prospect for the current year.

Even as this letter circulated on Wednesday morning, the Department of the Treasury announced the imposition of new sanctions targeting individuals and entities linked to Hamas. These sanctions encompassed a Gaza-based business accused of serving as a conduit for terrorists by facilitating bitcoin transactions.

Image by pixabay

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