Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo is sounding the alarm. He’s urging Congress to grant new powers to tackle the illicit use of digital assets, spurred by recent events like Hamas’ daring attack on Israel on October 7. This brazen move has cast a harsh spotlight on the shadowy underbelly of crypto financing. Now, Adeyemo is rallying the industry and lawmakers alike for a united front against digital crime. The message is clear: it’s time for the crypto world to step up, self-regulate, and protect against the misuse of its assets. The battle lines are drawn, and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
The Only Solution to Stop Illicit Activity Lies With Congress!
Adeyemo stressed the need for Congress to address this issue, indicating that discussions have been underway with members from both the Democratic and Republican parties. While acknowledging the Treasury Department’s recent identification of international “mixers” (cryptocurrency exchanges offering anonymity) as money-laundering hubs, particularly concerning groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Adeyemo insisted that more measures are necessary, both from the government and the cryptocurrency industry itself.
He urged the cryptocurrency industry to engage in self-regulation to protect against the potential exploitation of their assets for criminal or malicious purposes. Adeyemo affirmed that the Treasury Department will continue its efforts and collaborate with lawmakers, encouraging responsible innovation within the cryptocurrency sector.
Over 100 legislators previously sought information from the Treasury Department regarding the use of cryptocurrency by terrorist groups and potential legislative actions to address this issue. This inquiry followed reports linking digital assets to the financing of such groups, including Hamas. It’s worth noting that opinions in the cryptocurrency community vary, with some arguing that the role of digital assets in funding terrorist organizations may be exaggerated.
Crypto Reaction is Crystal Clear!
According to attorney Steven Nerayoff, “This isn’t a war against terrorism; it’s a war against crypto.” Meanwhile, 60% of crypto holders are not worried by the absence of proper regulations. The lack of regulations has contributed significantly to crypto fraud and cyber crimes. The use of crypto in funding illicit activities has quickly augmented.
Recently, in the Senate, Senator Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand pushed a bipartisan amendment in the NDAA to prevent the illicit use of crypto assets. The amendment mandates the Treasury to establish crypto asset examination standards and conduct a study on mixers and tumblers.
“Now more than ever, we need to ensure crypto assets cannot be used for nefarious purposes by closing the loopholes criminals are eager to exploit. We need to combat the risks posed by unregulated crypto asset exchanges,” said Lummis.
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