- Senator Elizabeth Warren is finding support in Congress to strengthen regulations around cryptocurrencies and their potential financing of terrorism, in light of millions raised by Hamas through crypto donations.
- Representative Sean Casten plans to introduce legislation similar to Warren’s bill to expand requirements around cryptocurrencies in the Bank Secrecy Act, treating crypto companies more like traditional financial institutions to help prevent money laundering and sanctions evasion.
- While the potential use of cryptocurrencies by terrorist groups is concerning, crypto tracking firm Elliptic states that the scale of crypto-based terrorism funding is being misrepresented, with only $21,000 in new donations arriving to Hamas since recent attacks.
Senator Elizabeth Warren is finding support in Congress for her efforts to strengthen regulations around cryptocurrencies and their potential use in financing terrorism. This comes as reports surface about millions raised by Hamas through crypto donations.
Efforts in Congress to Regulate Crypto
Representative Sean Casten plans to introduce legislation in the House that will be similar to a bill Warren has introduced in the Senate. The goal is to expand requirements around cryptocurrencies in the Bank Secrecy Act, treating crypto companies more like traditional financial institutions. This could help crack down on money laundering and sanctions evasion using digital currencies.
Concerns Over Crypto and Terrorism
The potential use of cryptocurrencies by terrorist groups has become a growing concern after reports that Hamas raised millions in crypto donations ahead of recent attacks in Israel. However, crypto tracking firm Elliptic cautions that the scale of crypto-based terrorism funding is being misrepresented in these reports. They state that since the attacks, only $21,000 in new crypto donations have arrived to Hamas, much of which is now frozen. The traceability of cryptocurrencies has meant these groups cannot raise significant funds this way compared to other sources.
Other Comments on Crypto
In a Congressional hearing, former House Finance Chair Maxine Waters also raised concerns around cryptocurrency’s connections to Hamas and Iran. Witnesses acknowledged crypto is being used by Hamas but also noted its potential benefits for democratizing finance and economic growth when utilized properly. The debate over cryptocurrency’s risks compared to its promise continues as lawmakers consider increasing regulations.
As cryptocurrencies grow, their potential misuse by terrorist organizations remains a concern for Congress and regulators. However, experts argue the traceability of crypto transactions also provides tools to prevent significant terrorist fundraising. The path forward will likely involve increased oversight to mitigate risks while still fostering financial innovation.