Congress urged the DOJ to bring criminal charges against Binance and Tether
In their appeal, the politicians are generally positive about cryptocurrencies, pointing out that "blockchain technology can spur innovation"
U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis and House of Representatives member French Hill sent a letter to the Department of Justice demanding an investigation and criminal charges against cryptocurrency exchange Binance and the largest issuer of stablecoins, Tether. Lummis posted a copy of the letter on social network X (formerly Twitter).
Congressional representatives have asked U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to thoroughly investigate Binance and Tether amid reports that the companies were involved in funding terrorist activities, including Hamas. According to the politicians, despite the fact that the media and various third-party analysts have denied the scale of the amounts received by terrorist organizations through cryptocurrencies, Binance and Tether pose a threat to U.S. national security by failing to properly vet their customers and knowingly violate regulations.
The appeal also said that both companies began cooperating with law enforcement and blocking Hamas-owned wallets only after receiving relevant notifications from authorities, and not on their own initiative. At the same time, Lummis and Hill are generally positive about cryptocurrencies, pointing out in their statement that "blockchain technology can spur innovation."
A few weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal published a big story about the transfer of cryptocurrency to Hamas accounts, including through the Russian exchange Garantex. This publication was referred to by members of the U.S. Congress when writing a letter to the president, and journalists in turn referred to data from the Elliptic report.
However, the other day Elliptic published a new report in which it pointed out that the information about the use of cryptocurrencies to finance terrorism, including Hamas, is highly distorted and is not supported by sufficient facts.
Earlier, another analytical company - Chain analysis - also questioned the role of cryptocurrencies in terrorism financing. According to their data, only $450 thousand of the $82 million announced in the media can be clearly attributed to the funds actually directed for these purposes.
The cryptocurrency exchange Binance actively cooperated with the Israeli police in tracking the wallets belonging to Hamas and froze their accounts. The addresses of the donation wallets had been published by the group on social media since the first day the conflict escalated.
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