“Open, transparent blockchain technology should easily provide an open book of Hamas’s terror financing with digital assets, as compared to traditional, more opaque, methods of financing. We request the White House and the Treasury to utilize the open blockchain ledger to assess the footprint of Hamas’s digital asset fundraising campaign. In doing this, Congress can better understand the United States’ available tools and capabilities to target bad actors on blockchain and support legitimate digital asset use and innovation,” Emmer said.
“It’s critical for Congress to understand the true extent of the use of digital assets for illicit purposes. In light of conflicting reports regarding Hamas’ fundraising efforts through digital assets, we are commencing a bipartisan fact-finding mission. It’s important to note that digital assets are built on transparent and open distributed ledger technology—making it far easier to detect and track illicit activity. It’s essential that we hold bad actors in the digital asset ecosystem accountable in order for legitimate players to thrive. I thank my colleagues, Whip Emmer, Congressman Torres, and Subcommittee Chairman Hill for their partnership on this issue,” Chairman McHenry said.
“Terrorism financing is unacceptable no matter what form it takes, whether that’s cash or crypto. Congress must better understand how groups like Hamas use digital assets to fund their operations and cut off all avenues for this illicit activity, but also recognize that bad actors are the problem—not crypto. I thank my colleagues, Chairman McHenry, Whip Emmer, and Congressman Torres for our continued collaboration on this critical issue,” said Rep. Hill.
The United States government routinely sanctions and seizes cryptocurrency used for illicit purposes. Last year, Congressman Emmer led a bipartisan letter to the Federal Reserve inquiring into the United States stockpile of digital assets and the mechanisms through which the government holds and transfers those assets.
The Members requested a response to the letter no later than November 29. The full letter can be viewed here.