On November 15, the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion received training on the use of blockchain technology during a hearing titled “Crypto Crime in Context: Breaking Down the Illicit Activity in Digital Assets”. was bipartisan in nature, President French Hill said from the start.
Hill began the meeting by citing an article published by the Wall Street Journal on October 10 about Hamas’ use of crypto to raise funds. The article was corrected October 27 to more accurately reflect crucial data produced by blockchain analytics firm Elliptic, as Hill also mentioned. He continued:
“The phone and internet are not to blame for terrorist financing and neither should crypto.”
Along the same lines, subcommittee member Stephen Lynch expressed hope that “we can put aside some of the preconceptions that some people may have.”
The panel of witnesses included representatives from ConsenSys and Chainalysis, as well as forensic experts and senior counsel from the law firm Hogan Lovells. They spoke about the need for international collaboration and public-private collaboration to stop the misuse of digital assets, the need for well-designed legislation, and the intricacies of blockchain investigation .
Representative Brad Sherman asked Dynamic Securities Analytics President Alison Jimenez for an example of lawful use of a crypto mixer, which she was unable to provide.
Many other voices wanted to be heard at the same time on this subject. Hill, Rep. Tom Emmer, Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry and Rep. Ritchie Torres were lead signatories, along with a bipartisan group of 53 other House members, of a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on November 15.
The letter requested information on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s fundraising and the role of cryptocurrency in their efforts. The letter declared:
“It is important to understand the scope of Hamas’ fundraising campaign for digital assets in the context of its traditional fundraising activities.”
He added that traditional fundraising methods “could far exceed” the revenue generated by crypto, and that Congress needs help “understanding the size, scope and duration of the fundraising campaign for Hamas digital assets, as well as precise information on blockages or confiscations. digital assets from terrorist organizations.
The letter cites the same Wall Street Journal article. On November 12, the WSJ published a second article by the same authors on the use of cryptography to funnel money to Hamas.
Also on November 15, the Blockchain Association published an open letter to Hill and other members of the Financial Services Committee. This letter was sign by 40 former US military personnel, intelligence officers and national security professionals who now have ties to digital asset or venture capital firms.
#It’s happening now: President @RepFrenchHill convenes the Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology, and Inclusion for a hearing titled “Crypto Crime in Context: Breaking Down the Illicit Activity in Digital Assets.”
– Financial Services GOP (@FinancialCmte) November 15, 2023
They also mentioned the previous WSJ article, expressing concern that the “vastly exaggerated” and “debunked” article “continues to be used to promote legislation that would be counterproductive to national security interests.” the United States “.
Encouraging the growth of a regulated and compliant digital assets sector in the United States is the best way to weed out bad actors, the letter continues.