US Representative Ted Budd (R-NC) has sponsored a new piece of legislation aimed at establishing an agency charged with combating the use of cryptocurrencies in terrorist financing.
The bill – HR 296 – is co-sponsored by Representatives Warren Davidson (R-OH), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Byron Donalds (R-FL) and Darren Soto (D-FL) and was introduced Wednesday. .
In addition to creating the task force, the bill also aims to:
“Provide rewards for information leading to convictions related to terrorist use of digital currency, to establish a Fintech Leadership in Innovation and Financial Intelligence Program to encourage the development of tools and programs to prevent terrorist and illegal use. of digital currency, and for other purposes. “
After its introduction, the bill was referred for preliminary consultation to the Financial Services Committee and the Budget Committee. Rep. Budd is a known supporter of crypto and blockchain in Congress.
While anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing remain an important anti-crypto conversation for several government agencies, forensic data on cryptocurrencies indicates limited adoption of virtual currencies by terrorist organizations. In May 2020, blockchain intelligence outfit Chainalysis debunked that ISIS owned approximately $ 300 million in Bitcoin.
However, the United States Department of Justice reportedly has seized crypto funds reportedly belonging to the ISIS and Al-Qaeda terrorist networks. In June 2020, reports also emerged that media platforms affiliated with ISIS were collect donations in Monero, a popular privacy coin.
Meanwhile, Chainalysis published a report stating that some participants in the recent riot in the Capitol received large Bitcoin donations from a French computer programmer a month before the incident. According to the crypto-forensic company, the late donor had a history of supporting causes that embraced far-right political and social ideologies.
US law enforcement officials are reportedly investigating possible links between the donations and the planning of the riot.