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US will be forced to curtail crypto if industry fails to act on illicit finance threats- official

Published Nov 29, 2023 04:27PM ET Updated Nov 30, 2023 12:08PM ET
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© Reuters. Bitcoin coins are seen at a stand during the Bitcoin Conference 2023, in Miami Beach, Florida, U.S., May 19, 2023. REUTERS/Marco Bello

By Hannah Lang

(Reuters) - The U.S. government will cut off cryptocurrency companies from the broader U.S. economy if they fail to block and report illicit money flows, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo warned the industry on Wednesday.

Speaking at an event hosted by the Blockchain Association, Adeyemo said that crypto companies need to do more to curtail the flow of illicit finance, and that the lack of action across the sector presents a risk to the U.S.

"Our actions over the last year send a clear message: we will not hesitate to bring to bear tools across government to protect our national security," Adeyemo said in prepared remarks.

The Biden administration on Tuesday sent a letter to Congress, requesting new legislation that would grant Treasury the authority to police crypto marketplaces used by actors the U.S. government deems illicit, Adeyemo said.

The move comes after the U.S. in October issued sanctions aimed at disrupting funding for Palestinian militant group Hamas following deadly attacks in Israel, singling out a Gaza-based cryptocurrency exchange among other targets.

Last week, Binance chief Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to breaking U.S. anti-money laundering laws as part of a $4.3 billion settlement, and stepped down as CEO of the world's largest crypto exchange, conceding that he had "made mistakes."

Prosecutors said Binance broke U.S. anti-money laundering and sanctions laws and failed to report more than 100,000 suspicious transactions with organizations the U.S. described as terrorist groups including Hamas, al Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, authorities said. Binance said in response that it had worked hard to make the platform "safer and even more secure."

US will be forced to curtail crypto if industry fails to act on illicit finance threats- official
 

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Comments (3)
Cologne fc
Cologne fc Nov 30, 2023 2:29PM ET
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Schreiben Sie hier Ihre Gedanken
Chris Heiche
Chris Heiche Nov 30, 2023 12:31PM ET
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USA is controlled by the few - and they do not want to let anything destroy their totalitarian agenda. All in the name of "national security"
Mark Gesswein
Mark Gesswein Nov 29, 2023 6:00PM ET
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This is rich, given that more illicit transactions occur using US cash than any other form of payment. Cryptocurrency doesn’t undermind US national security. It DOES threaten the FED’s ability to control what people do with their money.
Ryan Semmelmayer
Ryan Semmelmayer Nov 29, 2023 6:00PM ET
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Thats a big ol’ bingo right there. Sick of the gaslighting politicians/regulators and their played out narratives.
 
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