Yellen Calls Terrorist Financing Using Crypto a ‘Concern’

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Cryptocurrencies are “a particular concern” when it comes to terrorist financing, potential Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Tuesday.

At a Senate Finance Committee hearing on her expected nomination after President-elect Joe Biden took office, Yellen said the US should be aware of the new tools it uses to finance terrorism.

“The technologies that can be used to achieve this change over time, and we must ensure that our methods of addressing these issues, technology terrorist funding, along with technology change and cryptocurrencies, change along with Senator Maggie Hassan (DN.H. ) called the use of crypto in terrorist financing a “growing problem”.

Hassan inquired about last year’s National Defense Authorization Act, which included a provision examining how terrorists could use new financial technologies to raise funds. Senator Mark Warner (DW.V.) directed the recording of the provision.

“I think a lot [cryptocurrencies] are mainly used for illegal financing, at least in terms of transactions, and I think we really need to investigate how we can limit their use and ensure that anti-money laundering does not take place through these channels, ”said Yellen on Tuesday.

The federal authorities are currently investigating whether there is a connection between a December transaction of 13.5 Bitcoin by the late French computer programmer Laurent Bachelier and right-wing persons and the attempted uprising in the US Capitol earlier this month. Some of the recipients of the transaction appear to have been at the Capitol on January 6th.

As Fed chairman, Yellen said she did not want to overregulate the crypto room, despite the fact that she also fired Bitcoin in various places during her tenure and immediately afterwards. When she takes office, she will oversee a number of legislative proposals through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, including a controversial rule requiring exchanges to collect and store information from counterparties for non-hosted wallets.

UPDATE (January 19, 2021, 18:55 UTC): Updated with additional context.