- Senator Elizabeth Warren criticises the Blockchain Association’s lobbying efforts.
- Disputed claims exist regarding the extent of cryptocurrency funding received by organisations like Hamas for terrorist financing.
- U.S. lawmakers have called for assessments of cryptocurrency use by such organisations.
Warren has voiced her concerns over the lobbying efforts of the Blockchain Association, accusing the group of undermining the U.S. Congress.
In a letter addressed to Kristin Smith, the chief executive of the Blockchain Association, Warren expressed her apprehension about the association’s influence on bipartisan efforts related to cryptocurrency regulation and its potential impact on national security.
Senator Warren’s letter references a recent report that suggests the Blockchain Association, along with other crypto interests, is actively working to undermine bipartisan initiatives in Congress and within the Biden Administration.
Role of cryptocurrency in financing terrorist groups
Warren’s concerns regarding cryptocurrency’s involvement with terrorist financing have been disputed by blockchain analytics firms like Chainalysis. These firms contest claims made in the Wall Street Journal, which Warren cites in her letter. Stating the actual amount of crypto funding received by Hamas and similar groups is significantly lower than reported. Amounting to thousands of dollars rather than tens of millions.
U.S. lawmakers have already called upon President Biden and Treasury Secretary Yellen to assess the extent of cryptocurrency utilisation by organisations like Hamas for fundraising purposes. These actions are part of a broader debate on the scale and impact of such activities within the cryptocurrency space.
Warren concludes her letter by criticising what she perceives as the crypto industry’s resistance to implementing regulations. Which is essential to curtail the use of cryptocurrency for illicit purposes.
She asserts that the industry’s focus appears to be on delaying and denying new rules, as it could potentially impact crypto company profits.
Revolving door phenomenon
Senator Warren points out the “revolving door” phenomenon within the crypto industry, where former government officials transition into private-sector roles. She fears that this revolving door may influence legislative and regulatory decisions related to cryptocurrency, anti-money laundering measures, and counterterrorism efforts.
In response to her concerns, Senator Warren has requested information on the employment of former government officials by cryptocurrency firms, aiming to shed light on potential conflicts of interest and the need for increased transparency in the industry.