The US House Financial Services Committee thinks that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are allowing domestic terrorists and Nazis to fund the activities that they have. The concern appeared during a hearing that discussed cryptocurrencies.
Brad Sherman, California US Congressman, started the hearing by saying that the secrecy and security of cryptocurrencies allow the funding of domestic terrorists in the country. He specifically claimed that the white supremacists now use BTC. His exact words were:
“If it works for Hamas, it will work for the Nazis, too.”
Jared Maples, Homeland Security and Preparedness Director at the NJ Office and Rena Miller, Congressional Research Service finance expert also shared the concerns.
Maples highlighted that Hamas uses these coins because of their privacy and secrecy, mentioning that Andrew Anglin, The Daily Stormer, received $60,000 in BTC as a donation after the attack that happened on Charlottesville.
There were also other House Committee members that made similar statements, saying that there are many neo-Nazi members that were documented as receiving or using cryptocurrency donations in order to fund operations in the US. Websites used by Nazis, like “Stormfront” were mentioned to be reliant on crypto donations.
Committee members agreed that now it is really important to fight the country’s terror groups but they also mentioned that it is important to take into account the privacy of people that use crypto and have no associations with terrorist groups.
Up until now, the really effective way to fight US Nazi groups were to cut funding. This included PayPal donations and advertising revenue coming from publishers like AdSense. In order to gather funds, some hate sites even started to sell songs. Using crypto donations can help them gain access to money again.
Brad Sherman is known in the cryptocurrency industry as a harsh enemy of digital coins in the US. The Congressman constantly repeated that BTC is only used to facilitate illegal activities. This even if statistics show that this is completely incorrect and only a very small part of cryptocurrency transactions are associated with terrorism.
Sherman even talked with Bloomberg TV to say that Libra is a thread to national security and the US economy.
Obviously, the crypto community is mocking Sherman because of his clearly limited knowledge about cryptocurrencies and the fact that he does not understand the industry.
All around the world, it looks like the attitude towards digital coins is changing. In the US though, many of those responsible for making economic choices seem to just want to wait until Bitcoin fails, which will most likely not happen. There are no real regulations and the US does not actually care that it might lose business as people will leave towards countries that have friendlier crypto environments.