By: Eva Baxter
US lawmakers are urging the Department of Justice to investigate Binance and Tether for their possible role in facilitating illicit financing for terrorist groups, including Hamas. This comes after a bipartisan letter prompted by the use of cryptocurrencies in terrorism financing.
Senator Cynthia M. Lummis (R-WY) and Rep. French Hill (R-AR) are calling for 'decisive action' if these firms are found to be complicit. It is alleged that Binance's past encounters with illicit finance and its failure to promptly suspend accounts linked with Hamas could be classified as providing material support to terrorists under federal law. Tether, despite purportedly freezing addresses associated with Hamas at the behest of Israeli authorities, also faces pressing compliance questions.
However, these lawmakers underlined the necessity to differentiate between companies aiming for compliance and those wilfully bypassing legal regulations. While cryptocurrencies' pseudonymity renders them susceptible to misuse, the majority of firms strive to abide by regulations. The lawmakers have expressed worries about the effects on lawful innovation if the actions of unscrupulous actors throw the entire industry under doubt.
The DOJ's thorough investigation and subsequent rulings could dictate future governments' stance and enforcement around illicit crypto financing. Despite concerns, the lawmakers firmly believe that 'bad actors' must face the repercussions if they enable illegal activities.
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