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U.S. authorities urged to investigate crypto use in funding domestic terrorism and extremism

Fri, 17 Jan 2020, 08:20 am UTC

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee recently looked at how cryptocurrencies are being used to fund domestic extremism, Cointelegraph reported.

The FSC Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy held a hearing on Jan. 15, titled “A Persistent and Evolving Threat: An Examination of the Financing of Domestic Terrorism and Extremism.”

In the hearing, officials and executives outlined how crypto has been used to fund hate crimes. The hearing featured five witnesses including Jared Maples, Director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness; Rena Miller, Specialist in Financial Economics, Congressional Research Service; George Selim, Senior Vice President for Programs, Anti-Defamation League; Lecia Brooks, Chief Workplace Transformation Officer, Southern Poverty Law Center; and Mary B. McCord, Legal Director, Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, Georgetown Law.

Maples urged U.S. authorities that they should examine the use of crypto in terrorism financing activities, underscoring the efforts of terrorist organizations that solicit funding in digital currencies such as bitcoin through social media such as Telegram and Facebook.

“We cannot discount the future of cryptocurrencies in funding acts of domestic extremism, both within New Jersey and across the United States,” he said.

Miller echoed similar views and said that the U.S. government should be gathering and analyzing financial data thoroughly. She believes that the authorities should be given access to data provided on social media and payment processors.

Selim urged the Congress to support a study that will examine how crypto is used in financing domestic extremists and hate crime. He also encouraged the country to create a framework that supports crypto-related platforms to track online transactions and prevent the possibility of exploiting their services.

“New forms of financial products and services, including cryptocurrencies, should be addressed. Analysis should cover challenges as well as opportunities inherent in these new financial products and services for those endeavoring to stop the funding of hate and violence,” he said.

In December, eight U.S. Congress members sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) urging them to provide more clarity about crypto tax.

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