Senator Elizabeth Warren testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. May 4thshe emphasized the use of cryptography in crime and sanctions evasion.
Russia, North Korea Crypto Use in 2022
In his testimony, Warren said:
“Cryptocurrencies are now the vehicle of choice for countries to evade sanctions, so they can support espionage and fund weapons programs that facilitate cyberattacks.”
Warren explained that while much of the cryptocurrency-related crime is “hidden,” more than $20 billion in illicit transactions took place during 2022. This is consistent with recent data from Chainalysis. Warren also pointed out that Russia and North Korea have moved at least $8 billion through cryptocurrencies.
She added that North Korea is using stolen cryptography to fund its nuclear weapons program, according to the UN Security Council. Lieutenant General Scott D. Bellier admitted that this was “a threat we perceive” when asked if Warren was.
Warren also asked Director of National Intelligence Avril D. Haynes whether cryptocurrencies pose such a threat. Haines said cryptocurrencies not only contribute to North Korea’s weapons development, but also threaten network security.
Warren Highlights Islamic Groups and Russian Ransomware
Warren also said that Binance has processed $8 billion in Iranian cryptocurrency trading since 2018. These deals include some of the cryptocurrencies won by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which operates the country’s largest bitcoin mining operation, she said.
Finally, Warren said that major ransomware groups are believed to be operated by Russian actors, and based on data from past Homeland Security reports, nearly 100% of ransomware payments is being paid for.
Haynes and Berrier replied again that these activities constitute a threat.
Warren concluded that she and Senator Roger Marshall plan to reintroduce a bill to tighten regulation of crimes created by cryptocurrencies. She said the bill is different from securities regulation aimed at protecting investors from fraud.
Warren has long been a harsh critic of cryptocurrencies. In late March, she said her reelection campaign would include a “build.”[ing] Anti-crypto army. ” She previously attempted to submit a crypto regulation bill in December 2022.
The post, where Elizabeth Warren calls cryptocurrencies “the best way” to evade sanctions, first appeared on CryptoSlate.