US Senator Cynthia Lummis is calling on the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to consider criminal charges against cryptocurrency exchange Binance and stablecoin issuer Tether. Lummis believes that the two companies played a role in aiding illicit fundraising for terror organizations.
The senator’s request comes after a recent Wall Street Journal report alleged that Hamas had raised millions of dollars in cryptocurrency funding before its attacks on Israel. However, blockchain security and analytics firm Elliptic has stated that there is no evidence to suggest that crypto fundraising resulted in the amount cited in the report.
Lummis, along with Representative French Hill, Chair Subcommittee, House Financial Services, co-signed a letter urging the DOJ to investigate the allegations against Binance and Tether. The senator believes that the companies acted as intermediaries in illicit financing for Hamas.
In response to the allegations, Tether has emphasized its stance against the use of cryptocurrency in terrorism financing. The stablecoin issuer is urging the government to fact-check mainstream media misinterpretations about the topic. Tether also highlighted its cooperation with law enforcement, including freezing funds suspected to be meant for illicit activities.
Crypto industry figures have expressed concern about the potential impact of these regulatory developments. Nic Carter, partner at Castle Island Ventures, stated that false information about crypto financing terrorism could lead to government aggression. Brian Armstrong, co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, believes that a retraction or correction from the Wall Street Journal is necessary.
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