The director of national security of the USA. UU. He says that cryptocurrencies can help fuel internal terrorism.
The head of the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security, Jared Maples, predicted on Wednesday, January 15 that national terrorists will become increasingly cryptocurrency experts like Bitcoin.
During a hearing in the monetary policy subcommittee of the Financial Services Committee of the US House of Representatives. UU. In Washington DC, Maples said that national terrorists, attackers who live and are US citizens, find value in the security and privacy offered by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
"They are seeing the effectiveness of being able to hide these movements," Maples said. "As cryptocurrencies become more frequent, and technology becomes easier to adapt and use, we believe we will see more of this (its use) in the field of domestic terrorism."
The audience focused on how national terrorists finance their attacks in general, and did not talk specifically about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. However, three of the five witnesses, Maples, finance expert at Rena Miller Congress Research Service and senior vice president of the League Against Defamation (ADL) George Selim, addressed their role in their written and oral testimonies.
Rep. Brad Sherman, a long-time skeptic about cryptocurrencies, pressured Maples to cite examples of cases of cryptocurrency use in domestic terrorism. "If it works for Hamas, it will also work for neo-Nazis," he said.
Maples responded: "We see evidence that national terrorist groups are realizing that foreign terrorist groups, such as Hamas, are operating using Bitcoin because of their encryption (and) the difficulties in tracking these transactions."
It should be noted that in regions where Hamas and other terrorist groups are more active, Bitcoin is not one of the most popular tools among these groups.
Blockchain against terrorists
Even so, government officials have successfully exploited the inherent traceability of the Bitcoin blockchain to find important criminals. Last October, researchers dismantled the world's largest functioning child pornography site using blockchain data analysis software.
Maples told the committee in his written testimony that one of these donations occurred immediately after the attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017: $ 60,000 in Bitcoin for Daily Stormer editor Andrew Anglin. This shows that, contrary to what many people imagine, Bitcoin transactions can be traced with relative ease.
"We cannot rule out the future use of cryptocurrencies as a means to finance acts of internal extremism in New Jersey and the United States," Maples acknowledged in his comments.
Selim, the ADL executive, also testified about the use of Bitcoin to support white nationalists. He cited reports that the neo-Nazi Andrew "weev" Auernheimer received large amounts of donations through Bitcoin, as well as forums of white supremacists on the Internet such as Stormfront and Daily Stormer.
However, he acknowledged that cryptocurrency companies like Coinbase apply comprehensive anti-hate policies that prevent customers from making transactions in this way. "Cryptocurrencies are not a magical solution to the money transfer difficulties of white supremacists," Selim wrote in his testimony.
Maples also talked about how the US government. UU. It can prevent criminals and combat the use of cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes. "We have to implement strict supervision," he said, and specified that this would include ensuring that the right people are aware of the risks associated with cryptocurrencies, in addition to monitoring the movements of these assets.