Cryptocurrencies come from a somewhat murky past, being used by the criminal underworld for a number of years to complete online transactions. However, in recent years the percentage of transactions in cryptos for illegal purchases has fallen considerably compared to legitimate purchases – according to the DEA. Despite this, terrorists – or what America describes as terrorists – are still allegedly using cryptocurrencies to fund their operations and cause chaos and mayhem throughout the world.
The US House of Representatives has just passed a bill that will allow for the creation of an Independent Financial Technology Task Force. This – at least in principle – will fight the war against terrorists using cryptos.
Rewards for Tip-Offs
The new bill is fairly encompassing, as it lays down some serious ground rules. Yet, there are two standout bits of legislation in the new bill. The first being that any entity that suspected terrorist money – or any other illicit uses of cryptos for that matter – must be reported to the agency within 180 days. If not, that entity will be considered as an accomplice to the individual or organization. The second being that the new agency will reward entities and people who tip-off the agency about suspected terrorists using platforms or cryptocurrencies. This reward can be up to $450,000 – not a bad payday for fighting cyber-crime.
Definition of Terrorist Slightly Blurry
America pulled out of a nuclear deal with Iran earlier this year. It then decided to impose a barrage of sanctions on the nation. The US has stood alone against Iran, as European nations remain in the agreement and with the ability to trade with Iran. America then forced a German bank to deny a request from Iran to withdraw $350 million, while it also seized more than 500 Bitcoin from Iranian citizens that held their Bitcoin in American exchanges or digital wallets. This could indicate that America sees Iran as a terrorist nation and anyone doing business with Iranians as supporters of terrorism. Under this view, virtually all European nations would then be considered supporters of terrorism – so there are still a few kinks that need to be ironed out.
Thankfully, most cryptos have a public ledger, meaning that all transactions and wallets are viewable by anyone. This means that crypto transactions are transparent and traceable – making the new agency’s job fairly easy. More and more points of entry to the crypto world are implementing know your customer (KYC) procedures, meaning the agency could know every detail about every person’s crypto hodlings and purchases fairly easily.
Crypto crime has become the annoying side effect of the emerging crypto market. For that reason, it’s great to see that new agencies are being formed as a means to stomp out crypto crime once and for all.