See More

US Treasury Official Advocates for Strict Laws to Curb Crypto Use by Terrorists

2 mins
Updated by Harsh Notariya
Join our Trading Community on Telegram

In Brief

  • US Treasury's Adeyemo calls for strict laws against crypto use by terrorists, citing risks from groups like al Qaeda, and Hamas.
  • Undersecretary Nelson suggests crypto's role in terrorism financing may be overstated, amid debates on regulation's impact.
  • Adeyemo urges comprehensive regulations to counter misuse of digital assets by terrorists and rogue states such as North Korea.
  • promo

In a recent address to Congress, US Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo expressed urgent concerns. He emphasized the risk of increased crypto use by terrorist organizations and hostile nations.

Speaking to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Adeyemo advocated for legislative action.

US Treasury Seeks Additional Powers Against Illicit Crypto Transactions

Adeyemo highlighted the need to thwart the misuse of crypto by groups like al Qaeda and Hamas, as well as countries such as Russia and North Korea.

“We need to build an enforcement regime that is capable of preventing this activity as more terrorists, transnational criminals, and rogue states turn to digital assets. That’s why we sent the Committee proposals to strengthen counter-terrorist financing authorities,” Adeyemo wrote.

However, a contrasting perspective was presented earlier by Brian Nelson, Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. Nelson stated that the extent of crypto’s role in terrorism financing might be overestimated.

This statement followed an incident where initial reports from the Wall Street Journal, based on analytics from Elliptic, misinterpreted data, suggesting large crypto transactions linked to Hamas. Later, Elliptic clarified that Hamas had received only $21,000 in crypto, significantly less than reported.

Read more: Crypto Regulation: What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks?

Despite the corrected data, over 100 lawmakers pursued strict cryptocurrency regulations. They acted on the initial inflated figures. Consequently, this legislative drive, anchored in national security concerns, faced opposition for potentially stifling innovation and expatriating the crypto industry.

Representative Tom Emmer criticized the hurried legislative process. He stressed the importance of accurate data in financial regulation debates.

Nonetheless, Adeyemo’s testimony also sheds light on the sophisticated tactics of rogue states like North Korea. These states accumulate illicit revenue through cryptocurrencies via complex cyber heists. The United Nations disclosed that North Korea’s crypto-related cyberattacks have garnered an estimated $3 billion.

This sum significantly fuels its weapons programs, constituting a major part of its foreign currency revenue.

Furthermore, the discussion encompassed Russia’s adept use of cryptocurrencies to sidestep financial sanctions. Russia allegedly employs stablecoins like Tether’s USDT to fund military operations, including clandestinely acquiring crucial military hardware components.

Total Cryptocurrency Laundered
Total Cryptocurrency Laundered. Source: Chainalysis

Adeyemo called for additional legislative backing to empower the Treasury to combat digital currency misuse by malicious actors effectively. He advocated for comprehensive regulations targeting foreign cryptocurrency exchanges and money services.

Additionally, he emphasized the need to plug the gaps in existing laws. These gaps have emerged as virtual asset wallet providers and cryptocurrency exchanges evolved after the establishment of current regulations.

Read more: 7 Best Crypto Exchanges in the USA for Bitcoin (BTC) Trading

Echoing the Treasury’s concerns, Coinbase Global and Circle Internet Financial have voiced the need for regulatory clarity. They highlighted the competitive disadvantage US companies face due to the existing regulatory uncertainty.

Top crypto projects in the US | July 2024
Harambe AI Harambe AI Explore
Uphold Uphold Explore
Exodus Exodus Explore
Coinbase Coinbase Explore
Chain GPT Chain GPT Explore
Top crypto projects in the US | July 2024
Harambe AI Harambe AI Explore
Uphold Uphold Explore
Exodus Exodus Explore
Coinbase Coinbase Explore
Chain GPT Chain GPT Explore
Top crypto projects in the US | July 2024



In adherence to the Trust Project guidelines, BeInCrypto is committed to unbiased, transparent reporting. This news article aims to provide accurate, timely information. However, readers are advised to verify facts independently and consult with a professional before making any decisions based on this content. Please note that our Terms and ConditionsPrivacy Policy, and Disclaimers have been updated.

Harsh Notariya
Harsh Notariya is a journalist at BeInCrypto, who writes about various topics, including decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN), tokenization, crypto airdrops, decentralized finance (DeFi), meme coins, and altcoins. Before joining BeInCrypto, he was a community consultant at Totality Corp, specializing in the metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Additionally, Harsh was a blockchain content writer and researcher at Financial Funda, where he created educational reports on...