The Biden administration has called on Congress to grant additional regulatory powers to address concerns about the illicit use of cryptocurrencies. This move comes in response to fears that militant groups, including Hamas, are using digital assets to raise funds for attacks. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo discussed these concerns during a financial conference, highlighting the recent attack by Hamas on Israel as evidence of the growing focus on the misuse of digital assets for financial gain.
Adeyemo stated, “There are places where we think Congress needs to act,” emphasizing the need for legislative action to combat terror financing through cryptocurrencies. He also pointed out that Hamas has openly sought to leverage cryptocurrencies for fundraising purposes.
The Treasury Department’s recent designation of international crypto mixers as money laundering hubs aiding terror funding was welcomed by Adeyemo. However, he stressed the importance of additional measures from both lawmakers and crypto companies. He urged the crypto industry to engage in self-regulation to prevent the exploitation of their platforms for illicit purposes.
Calls for increased oversight have emerged in response to bipartisan demands for information on how terrorist groups use cryptocurrencies. Over 100 members of Congress have recently sought details and potential legislative solutions in this regard. While some crypto advocates argue that the role of digital assets in terror funding is exaggerated, the Treasury Department’s actions signal a commitment to addressing these concerns.
Despite allegations made by The Wall Street Journal and US lawmakers, blockchain investigations specialist Elliptic has found no substantial evidence that Hamas benefits significantly from crypto donations to finance its operations against Israel.