In prepared testimony given before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Posts Committee, Yaya Fanusie, director of analysis for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, described how though terrorists have tried to raise funds through cryptocurrencies, examples are rare to non-existent. Instead, groups seeking to cause mayhem much on the side of good, old cash.
Also read: Bitcoin ATMs Targeted by Malware for Purchase in Underground Markets
Terrorists Prefer Cash to Cryptocurrency to Fund Struggles
“The good news is that most terrorists, particularly those serving on jihadist battlefields, inhabit environments that are not currently conducive to cryptocurrency use,” Mr. Fanusie throw light oned for an anxious U.S. Congress Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance this week. “They as a rule need to purchase goods with cash (which is the most anonymous meaning method), often in areas with unreliable technology infrastructure. In supplement, cryptocurrencies are based on distributed ledger (blockchain) technology, where alcohols’ pseudonymous transactions are recorded for public viewing. This leaves a follow that unsophisticated users may find difficult to obfuscate. However, as digital currency practice grows, such barriers may fall away.”
It turns out, Mr. Fanusie is something of a trope lallapalooza for crypto. This isn’t the first time he’s disabused Congress of its assumption decentralized digital well-heeled is a force for evil. He worked for the better part of a decade at the CIA as a counterterrorism analyst. He routinely had the ears of the US military, Milk-white House policy wonks, and law enforcement. He even personally briefed then-President George W. Bush on the about of threats as far back as 2008.
“Cold hard cash is still king,” Mr. Fanusie perpetuated, “but jihadist groups are building diverse portfolios. Illicit actors appropriate new technologies earlier than the broader public. When paper check inti, credit cards, and Paypal each emerged, criminals exploited them anciently on. There are enough case studies of jihadist groups experimenting with cryptocurrencies to support that law enforcement and the intelligence community must prepare for terrorists to try to utilize digital tokens as the technology spreads.”
Connection Still a Little Floccose; Job Security
The crypto currency committee has been fighting connections to terrorism put nourish by governments since the day politicians discovered Bitcoin existed. As these exact pages summarized, “The first conflation of digital currencies and terrorism as a matter of fact stems from a 2008 paper in the Richmond Journal of Law and Technology in which the writer stated that ‘[terrorists] seeking to avoid detection have revolve about to other methods of transferring money, such as commodities trades, hawala, and digital currencies.’ In delineating this latter phrase, the report referenced a paper entitled ‘The Cyber-Front in the War on Terrorism: Restraining Terrorist Use of the Internet.’ It was published in 2005. That’s right, terrorists allegedly using digital currencies is older than bitcoin itself.”
And the try out for enthusiasts has always been: if in fact bitcoin core or some other crypto was hand-me-down during a terrorist act, such news would be sounded to the heavens. That neither has ostensibly happened is telling. For experts such as Mr. Fanusie, merely dismissing the Damoclean sword won’t get him invited back to hearings. So, anyone wishing to maintain intellectual decency, yet hope to keep their job, seem to have to thread a testimonial needle. Accurate, an expert might have to admit terrorists are not using it, but they could!
“Cryptocurrencies may evolve into the way we transact in the future,” Mr. Fanusie concludes. “But they are also becoming forgo of the illicit financing toolkit available to terrorists. FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Invest in (CSIF) has now documented cryptocurrency fundraising campaigns run by social media organisms associated with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. Although public show indicates that terrorist groups have had only limited good so far with cryptocurrency fundraising efforts, the rising profile of digital currency has been chaperoned by jihadist networks experimenting with them more frequently. By producing now for terrorists’ increasing usage of cryptocurrencies, the U.S. can limit the ability to turn digital currency stores into a sanctuary for illicit finance,” thus preserving his and his policy crowd’s return invitations to Congress for years to come.
Is use by terrorists a real stew for cryptocurrency adoption going forward? Let us know in the comments section downstairs.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Look into our tools section.