US Congress to Look at Crypto as a Means of Terrorist Financing

The US Congress will hold a hearing to analyze the means that national terrorists access to finance their activity, citing cryptocurrencies as one of those sources.

February 24, 2021 | AtoZ Markets – A subcommittee of the United States Congress is investigating whether domestic extremists are turning to cryptocurrencies as a source of funds for their activities.

On February 25, the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy will hold a hearing entitled “Dollars Against Democracy: Financing Domestic Terrorism After the Insurrection.”

Examining How Cryptos are Used to Finance Domestic Terrorism

A committee memo before the hearing states that “as scrutiny from traditional banks and payment platforms increases, extremists are turning to cryptocurrencies.”

The memorandum groups cryptocurrencies with other possible avenues of financing illicit activities, such as crowdfunding, charities and social media platforms. Two main incidents are used to suggest that cryptocurrencies may have helped finance the Capitol uprising.

Specifically, on December 8, a French extremist who committed suicide sent 28.15 BTC (valued at $522,000 at the time of transfer) to 22 addresses, many of which belonged to well-known far-right activists and internet personalities.

More than $250,000 of the BTC he sent went to activist Nick Fuentes, who was identified as present on Capitol Hill during the insurrection , although he expressly denies having entered the building.

The other source cited by the memo was a live video of the Capitol protest on video streaming platform Dlive in which the streamer received approximately $222 in tips in cryptocurrency. According to the document, the platform has paid “hundreds of thousands of dollars to extremists since its founding.” The platform was acquired by the peer-to-peer file sharing service BitTorrent, which in turn is  owned by the Tron Foundation.

However, the memo admits that the two incidents are circumstantial evidence and that “it is unknown whether the funds from these Bitcoin transfers or others were used in the planning and execution of Trump ‘s January 6 rally or in the Capitol uprising that followed. “

The commission believes that as traditional finance increases suspicious activity reporting, future insurgents are likely to turn to non-traditional methods to finance their activities. Additionally, “some of the arrests related to the January 6 attack” were successful thanks to the reporting methods used by banks and other regulated financial institutions.

The idea that “cryptocurrency is a haven for criminals” continues to have a huge impact.

Bitcoin influencer Pierre Rochard responded on Twitter to the statement saying that “almost all domestic terrorism occurred before Bitcoin was invented. Domestic terrorism is funded by dollars.”

The cryptocurrency investor who goes by “The Crypto Monk” said that even Pokemon cards would be better for payment than Bitcoin due to the cryptocurrency’s ability to track funds.

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