Over 100 US lawmakers have urged the Biden administration to address concerns regarding cryptocurrency’s role in global terrorism financing, with a focus on recent reports of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) using crypto to raise over $130 million. This article explores the bipartisan letter and its requests for action.
US lawmakers are pressing the Biden administration to clarify its strategies for countering global terrorist financing through cryptocurrencies. Recent reports reveal that Hamas and PIJ raised over $130 million in crypto between August 2021 and June 2023, with $12 million going to Hezbollah. Lawmakers emphasize the urgent need to prevent crypto’s use in terrorism financing.
Efforts to combat this issue are underway, with Binance collaborating with Israeli police to seize Hamas-linked exchange accounts. Nevertheless, lawmakers argue that only a small percentage of crypto funds have been seized, urging stronger action. They request details on the amount of crypto held by these groups, challenges in preventing crypto financing, and identification of facilitators.
US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a vocal critic of crypto, is among the lawmakers leading this effort. Her concerns include tax evasion, money laundering, and terrorist financing via cryptocurrency. In response to these concerns, the US Treasury has imposed sanctions on a Gaza-based Bitcoin exchange and its founder for ties to Hamas.