Coin Center Among Trio Accused of Undermining Terrorism Battle

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  • Senator Elizabeth Warren has accused Coinbase, Blockchain Association, and Coin Center of undermining anti-terrorism efforts
  • Warren wants to know the hiring practices of the companies, claiming that they are an attempt to whitewash the crypto industry’s poor practices when it comes to preventing such acts
  • Warren has been a vehement opponent of the crypto space for many years

Three cryptocurrency entities have been targeted afresh by Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has accused them of undermining the battle against terrorism. Warren sent letters to Coinbase, the Blockchain Association, and Coin Center, seeking details on their hiring practices amid increased scrutiny over the role of digital assets in financial crimes, including funding the October attacks by Hamas in Israel. Warren accused the crypto industry of trying to make itself look legitimate while undermining core anti-terror principles.

Warren Wants an Insight into Hiring Practices

In the letters, which mark Senator Warren’s latest shot at the sector, she specifically questioned Coinbase’s recruitment of figures like former Defense Secretary Mark Esper and counterterrorism adviser Frances Townsend. She also highlighted the involvement of retired Senators Pat Toomey and former Representatives Tim Ryan and Sean Patrick Maloney on Coinbase’s Global Advisory Council.

Warren also pointed out a letter from the Blockchain Association signed by 40 former military officials and intelligence officers which downplayed illicit activity in crypto, stating, “This abuse of the revolving door is appalling, revealing that the crypto industry is spending millions to give itself a veneer of legitimacy while fighting tooth and nail to stonewall common sense rules designed to restrict the use of crypto for terror financing.” 

The letters indicate a heightened effort by Senator Warren to regulate the crypto industry, a battle she has been waging for several years, advocating bipartisan legislation for new anti-money laundering safeguards.

Experts “Do Not Deserve to be Maligned”

In response, Blockchain Association CEO Kristin Smith highlighted that people are drawn to the crypto industry for values like freedom and innovation, while Coinbase’s Head of US Policy Kara Calvert defended their experts, stating they “do not deserve to be maligned as they work to keep our nation strong and safe.”

Coin Center Executive Director Jerry Brito emphasized the right to freely associate and petition the government, noting that “Engaging like-minded experts to advocate against legislative proposals that one sincerely believes are unconstitutional and detrimental to the nation’s welfare does not constitute ‘undermining bipartisan efforts in Congress’. In fact, he argued, it is the “exercise of the fundamental right to freely associate and petition the government.”