A bipartisan group of congressional leaders has embarked on a fact-finding crypto mission regarding recent reports that the Palestinian militant group Hamas has utilized cryptocurrency to raise funds.
The inquiry, led by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry, seeks to gather information to inform potential congressional action on this issue.
Chairman McHenry was joined by Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), Digital Asset Subcommittee Chairman French Hill (R-AR), and Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) in sending a letter to President Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.
53 representatives signed the crypto inquiry letter
The letter, signed by a total of 53 representatives across both parties, aims to understand the scope and scale of Hamas’ cryptocurrency fundraising efforts.
“It’s critical for Congress to understand the true extent of the use of digital assets for illicit purposes.” “In light of conflicting reports regarding Hamas’ fundraising efforts through digital assets, we are commencing a bipartisan fact-finding mission.”said Chairman McHenry
The congressmen highlighted that the transparent nature of cryptocurrency blockchains makes tracking illicit transactions easier compared to traditional financing methods. “It’s essential that we hold bad actors in the digital asset ecosystem accountable in order for legitimate players to thrive,” McHenry added.
Whip Emmer echoed the need to leverage blockchain transparency to assess Hamas’ crypto financing. “Open, transparent blockchain technology should easily provide an open book of Hamas’s terror financing with digital assets, as compared to traditional, more opaque, methods of financing,” he stated.
The inquiry comes on the heels of recent reports that Hamas had raised tens of millions of dollars via cryptocurrency donations. However, the scale and timeline of these efforts remain unclear.
The congressional leaders emphasized a need to understand terrorists’ use of cryptocurrency without discouraging innovation. “Bad actors are the problem—not crypto,” said Rep. Hill. Additionally, it remains to be seen what actions may follow from the fact-finding mission as more details come to light.