In a meeting of the U.S. Congress Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, terrorist crypto financing was discussed, with the conclusion being that crypto is not a convenient form of money for terrorists, who prefer cash.
According to a senior member of Illicit Finance, Yaya Fanusie, cash is the money choice that terrorists adhere to. Fanusie shared in Congress, that terrorist organizations and networks, counter to popular belief, cannot easily realize cryptocurrency, hence traditional money is a more favorable solution to them.
Of course one might say that the anonymity provided by the cryptocurrencies must be an agreeable prospect, however, it would appear that terrorists don’t always function from the most technological spots. Finding a way to convert digital assets to cash could imply a dangerous outing, where they could be tracked down. So for the moment being, such terrorist organizations as ISIS and al Qaeda stick to fiat currency.
If these claims are as such, then the critics that profess that terrorists are operating through the means of crypto. In 2017, the CEO of Coin Center, Jerry Britto, disclaimed that the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) reported that between 2015 and 2017 only roughly 8 bitcoin were used in terrorist activities. The mainstream idea that cryptocurrencies are being widely used for terrorist purposes, CNAS claimed was not backed up by evidence. Their research also found that jihadists, in order to fund their activities, didn’t need the aid of digital assets since they were managing the funding through traditional finance means quite well.
Lastly, even though Fanusie claims that crypto is “poor form of money for jihadists”, this does not mean that they have no use for it. Allegedly, many radical propaganda websites are starting to use crypto wallets, so crypto can still be used to recruit new people and spread their propaganda on the internet.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
- Seeing evidence that backs up the fact that crypto is not being utilized for terrorist activities is good news for the crypto community since this is one of the arguments used in the debate against crypto.
- Nevertheless, it is crucial to be aware of potential threats coming from such organizations and having an established discussion going on regarding safety is critical in case action is required.