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US Treasury demands more control over foreign crypto exchanges

us-treasury-demands-more-control-over-foreign-crypto-exchanges
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US Treasury demands more control over foreign crypto exchanges

The U.S. Treasury is pushing to expand its powers to increase oversight of cryptocurrency service providers, including foreign ones.

Deputy Secretary of State Adewale O. Adeyemo, ahead of the Senate hearing, said malicious actors are constantly looking for new ways to hide identities and move assets.

Adeyemo referred to the use of cryptocurrencies to finance several terrorist groups, as well as by countries under U.S. sanctions, including Russia and North Korea.

“The more effective our targeting has been, the more reason there is for these terrorist groups to look into virtual assets. And, to be clear, it’s not only terrorist groups, but state actors like the DPRK and Russia as well.”

Adewale O. Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury

Adeyemo hopes lawmakers approve a secondary sanctions tool targeting foreign digital asset providers that facilitate illegal transactions.

“While we continue to assess that terrorists prefer to use traditional financial products and services, we fear that without Congressional action to provide us with the necessary tools, the use of virtual assets by these actors will only grow.”

Adewale O. Adeyemo, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury

The U.S. Treasury also requested that foreign-based crypto platforms be prosecuted if U.S. national security is harmed by exploiting the country’s financial system.

Interest in cryptocurrencies from criminals continues to grow, and authorities in various countries are trying to take several steps to combat such transactions. In October 2023, the Wall Street Journal wrote that Palestinian militants received at least $134 million in digital assets. The publication caused a sharp reaction from American legislators, who demanded that the Justice Department take action against the industry, pointing separately to Binance and Tether.

According to Chainalysis experts, when counting terrorist-linked cryptocurrencies, many incorrectly include third-party funds that have passed through various payment services interacting with criminals.

Elliptic also pointed out that the scale of terrorist group financing in cryptocurrencies is overstated. The analytics company also said that data previously presented about Hamas’ cryptocurrency collection must be more accurate and greatly exaggerated in the Wall Street Journal article.