US Senator Cynthia Lummis and Representative French Hill sent a letter to the Department of Justice demanding an investigation and criminal charges against the cryptocurrency exchange Binance and the largest issuer of stablecoins Tether. Lummis posted a copy of the letter on the social network X (formerly Twitter), writes RBC Crypto.
Congressional representatives have asked US Attorney General Merrick Garland to conduct a thorough investigation into Binance and Tether amid reports that the companies were involved in financing terrorist activities, including Hamas. Even though the media and various third-party analysts have debunked the scale of amounts raised by terrorist organizations through cryptocurrencies, Binance and Tether pose a threat to US national security by failing to properly vet their customers and knowingly violating regulations, policymakers said.
The appeal also states that both companies began cooperating with law enforcement agencies and blocking wallets belonging to Hamas only after receiving relevant notifications from the authorities, and not on their own initiative. At the same time, Lummis and Hill speak generally positively about cryptocurrencies, pointing out in their address that “blockchain technologies can stimulate the development of innovation.”
A few weeks ago The Wall Street Journal published extensive material on the transfer of cryptocurrency to accounts of the Hamas group, including through the Russian Garantex exchange. Members of the US Congress referred to this publication when writing a letter to the president, and journalists, in turn, referred to data from the Elliptic report.
However, Elliptic recently published a new report in which it indicated that information about the use of cryptocurrencies to finance terrorism, including Hamas, is highly distorted and not supported by sufficient facts.
Previously, another analytical company, Chainanalysis, also questioned the role of cryptocurrencies in the financing of terrorism. According to them, only $450 thousand out of the $82 million announced in the media can definitely be attributed to funds actually allocated for these purposes.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance actively cooperated with Israeli police in tracking wallets belonging to Hamas and froze their accounts. Addresses of wallets for donations were published by the group on social networks from the first day of the escalation of the conflict.
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