New US Bill Seeks To Fight Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies

A newly proposed Jan. 10 US bill aims to fight terrorism by offering rewards for information that results in convictions of cryptocurrency-supported terrorism.

The bill, introduced to Congress by Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) of the House Financial Services Committee, proposes an Independent Financial Technology Task Force to dole out the rewards, whose amount in either dollars or cryptocurrency was not indicated.

The second section of the bill reads:

“It is the sense of Congress that the Federal Government should prioritize the investigation of terrorist and illicit use of new financial technology, including digital currencies.”

The fintech task force would be run by the Secretary of the Treasury and filled by five federal directors and four private sector individuals from think tanks, non-profits, and the banking industry.

The bill also calls for the creation of a FinTech Leadership in Innovation Fund to inspire the development of programs and methods for detecting digital currency use among terrorists. This fund could give grants to universities, companies, NGOs, and any individuals that could contribute to research on anti-terrorist detection tools.

In May of 2017, a US bill was brought forward that would require users crossing the US border to declare their cryptocurrency assets if they exceeded more than $10,000. The bill’s aim was to combat money laundering, which is often the source of terrorists’ funding.

Despite regulators’ increasing attention towards cryptocurrency-financed terrorism, a June 2017 report from the European Union found that terrorists still prefer fiat over digital currency, possibly because of the tracking potential of Blockchain records.


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