US Treasury Demands Extra Tools to Prosecute Crypto Firms
- The US Treasury urged Congress to approve sanctions, including cutting perpetrators from the US financial system.
- US authorities recently struck a $4.3 billion settlement with crypto exchange Binance.
- Adeyemo claims Binance allowed itself to be used by criminal organizations over the last couple of years.
The U.S. Department of Treasury has asked lawmakers to extend its authority and grant the government unprecedented control over the crypto industry, including the power to impose sanctions and enforce laws that extend well beyond the country’s borders and intervene in transactions involving non-citizens.
Wally Adeyemo, the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, presented Congress with a well-outlined proposal he said was “a set of common-sense recommendations to expand our authorities and broaden our tools and resources to go after illicit actors in the digital asset space.”
The Treasury document sent to US lawmakers notes that “modes of raising and moving money continue to evolve, and many of our authorities have not been updated in decades.” Treasury claims that most terrorist organizations “use new virtual methods to move, store, and obfuscate their funding streams. These methods often include the use of evasive cryptocurrency networks and services, including mixers.”
Adeyemo urged Congress to support sanctions that involve cutting perpetrators out of the US financial system. Citing Binance’s settlement with the DOJ, Adeyemo claimed the extended powers will ensure criminal organizations such as Hamas do not find “a safe haven within the digital asset ecosystem.”
The Deputy Secretary of the Treasury claimed that “Binance allowed itself to be used by the perpetrators of child sexual abuse, illegal narcotics trafficking, and terrorism, across more than 100,000 transactions,” adding that criminal groups like “Hamas, Al Qaeda, and ISIS conducted these transactions.”
Furthermore, Adeyemo called for increased collaboration between the financial industry and the U.S. government to fight money laundering, fraud, and the funding of terrorism. Additionally, he also suggested that authorities target stablecoin providers located outside of the United States while Treasury officials attempt to “close these gaps.”
Adeyemo claims the extended sanction tools “will not only cut off a firm from the U.S. financial system but will also expose any firm that continues to do business with the sanctioned entity to being cut off from the U.S. financial system.”
The Treasury Department recently reached a historic $4.3 billion settlement with Binance, which included the Treasury’s largest-ever company penalty in addition to fines to other agencies. The agreement demands that Binance appoint monitors who would report the company’s constant actions to watchdogs in the US government.
Additionally, US authorities announced on Wednesday that they had taken action against Sinbad, a cryptocurrency mixing service. Authorities claim that Sinbad helped Lazarus Group, a criminal organization, launder stolen funds.