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Biden Administration Seeks More Tools to Combat Illicit Crypto Use, Says Treasury Official

United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo says the Biden administration is seeking more tools to combat the illicit use of crypto. “We’re going to work with Congress to get more tools,” he stressed, advising the crypto industry to “make sure that you’re protecting yourselves from being in a position where people are using your assets to further their either heinous acts, like what Hamas did, or digital criminals.”

Treasury Working With Congress to Get More Tools

United States Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association that the Biden administration is seeking new tools from Congress to strengthen efforts against the illicit use of cryptocurrencies, the Wall Street Journal reported. He also mentioned that the Treasury has been in discussions with both Democrats and Republicans regarding potential actions they could pursue.

Citing the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, Adeyemo stated that it has brought an “increased focus on the illicit financial use of digital assets.” He stressed:

There are places where we think Congress needs to act … We’re going to work with Congress to get more tools.

The Treasury official also emphasized that the Treasury Department will maintain its ongoing efforts to take action and will collaborate with legislators while encouraging the cryptocurrency industry to pursue responsible innovation. “We need to build a regulatory framework for digital assets that in many ways looks similar to [and] matches the protections that we’ve put in place when it comes to other assets,” he detailed.

Several news outlets recently reported that Hamas raised millions of dollars in crypto. However, blockchain data analytics firm Elliptic subsequently clarified that these media reports misrepresented its data, and there is actually no evidence that Hamas has received large volumes of crypto funds. Adeyemo also recently said that “the use of crypto is not the vast majority of the ways that these groups are funded.”

The top Treasury official continued:

What I’m going to continue to say to the industry is that you have the ability in lots of ways to self-regulate, and to make sure that you’re protecting yourselves from being in a position where people are using your assets to further their either heinous acts, like what Hamas did, or digital criminals.

What do you think about the Biden administration wanting more tools to combat illicit use of crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.

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