Binance and Tether Under Fire as Lawmakers Demand Terrorism-Financing Crackdown

Published: Oct 26, 2023
Written By:
Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer

Republican lawmakers are pressing the Department of Justice to evaluate crypto exchange Binance and stablecoin Tether over potential terrorism financing. This comes amid conflicting reports on crypto’s role in funding attacks against Israel.

In a letter on Thursday, Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Representative French Hill (R-AR) urged the DOJ to evaluate Binance and Tether’s part in providing resources for terrorism.

The lawmakers claimed both companies had failed to comply with sanctions laws and anti-money laundering rules. They pushed for decisive action to “choke off sources of funding for the terrorists currently targeting Israel.”

However, some analysts dispute the degree to which Hamas relies on cryptocurrency donations. While experimenting with digital fundraising, amounts raised so far remain small compared to other sources, per blockchain analytics firm Elliptic.

Senate Banking Committee chairman talks about examining terrorism-crypto links

The push for crypto sanctions has support beyond Republican ranks. Senator Sherrod Brown stated that the Senate Banking Committee will examine terrorist crypto-financing streams.

Brown said the panel will “crackdown on the use of crypto to fund terrorism and evade sanctions.” He claimed the Treasury’s recent sanctions don’t go far enough and that more efforts are needed to track and freeze related assets globally.

Both Lummis and Brown have significant influence on crypto policymaking. Their bipartisan calls for tougher enforcement signal mounting scrutiny of potential illicit activity, even as the role of crypto in terror funding remains debated.

While Republicans urge prompt sanctions, Democrats emphasize deliberate bipartisan oversight. But lawmakers across the aisle appear aligned on using digital asset regulations to combat unlawful activities.

Vignesh Karunanidhi
Milk Road Writer
Vignesh has been a seasoned professional in the crypto space since 2017. He has been writing for over 5 years and specializes in writing and editing various types of crypto content, including news articles, long-form pieces, and blog posts, all focused on sharing the beauty of blockchain and crypto.