U.S. Lawmakers Examining Cryptocurrencies’ Role in Domestic Terrorism Funding

U.S. lawmakers will discuss whether or not terrorists use cryptocurrencies and decentralized systems to fund attacks on Thursday.

Crypto in Terrorism Funding

The House Financial Services Committee subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy revealed further details concerning its hearing on domestic terrorism funding late Wednesday, together with witness testimony.

While cryptocurrencies aren’t the only fundraising technique discussed, their inclusion might indicate lawmakers give it equal importance to more ancient funding methods, as new-but-established tools like PayPal.

The ‘Dollars Against Democracy’ Hearing

The hearing, titled “Dollars Against Democracy: Domestic Terrorist funding within the Aftermath of Insurrection,” was initially proclaimed at the start of February. However, the lawmakers didn’t reveal a hearing note and witness list till Tuesday evening. Additionally, the hearing was originally planned for Feb. 23 but was rescheduled to Feb. 25 last week. 

Generally, the hearing will assess numerous ways of terrorist financing including crowdfunding, charities, content subscriptions, cryptocurrencies, and alternative funding mechanisms amid the background of what occurred on Jan. 6. 

Among the witnesses, Lecia Brooks, executive director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, gave her written testimony. She said that encrypted and decentralized tools are being progressively employed by the right terrorists, in a bid to avoid more centralized money technology platforms. 

Lecia continued that donations worth $44,000 found their way to some DLive streamers in November and December alone. A couple of those streamers ended up being featured as main violence disruptors inside the Capitol and on the grounds.

Another witness, Daniel Rogers, the co-founder, and chief technical officer of the worldwide misinformation Index, noted that cryptocurrencies were one tool being employed by extremists in his written testimony.

Shedding Light on Terrorism Threats

With the main target last year on the threats of inflated money laundering and terrorist finance activities, one can only imagine that the House Financial Services Committee will want to take a closer look at crypto. Its concern is mainly on how it plays a role in the threat of skyrocketing the financing of the act of terrorism in the United States.

Some “high-profile, high-value” transfers to known “alt-right” cryptocurrency wallets have occurred as well as a post-death transfer of over $500,000 in bitcoin from a dangerous French terrorist to a variety of U.S.-based wallets, as the memo reads.

It is unclear whether the involved were present on the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill insurrection in Washington. Nonetheless, since it’s progressively common to seek out crypto case addresses listed on extremist websites, this can be a potential and growing supply of domestic terrorist funds.

The hearing will feature a panel of 5 witnesses from numerous organizations and Iman Boukadoum, senior manager at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and Lecia Brooks, administrator at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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