Amid the ongoing deadly conflict between Israel and Hamas, another turning point has captured everyone’s attention: the involvement of cryptocurrency exchange Binance and Tether in funding the terrorist organization, Hamas. This news has spread like wildfire in the realm of cryptocurrency.
Senator urges swift DOJ investigation of Binance and Tether
Recently on October 26, 2023, two Republican lawmakers urged the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the area to which cryptocurrency platforms Binance and Tether may be supporting terrorism funding, particularly the recent attacks on Israel.
Senator Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming and French Hill of Arkansas have jointly written a letter to the Department of Justice, requesting a thorough evaluation of whether Binance and Tether are providing material support and resources for terrorist activities through violations of sanctions laws and the Bank Secrecy Act.
The lawmakers are urging quick action against these platforms to disrupt potential sources of funding for those targeting Israel.
Regulatory scrutiny continues
Both Binance and Tether have been under regulatory scrutiny over the past year. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) took legal action against Binance and its CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, for alleged violations of federal laws.
Tether, on the other hand, faced fines from the CFTC in 2021 due to concerns about the backing of its stablecoin USDT.
Frozen accounts raise concerns
Earlier this month Tether had taken the proactive step in this ongoing conflict and froze 32 addresses linked to entities associated with Hamas and Russia in Israel and Ukraine. This was done in response to concerns over violations of sanctions laws and the Bank Secrecy Act.
Lummis and Hill also highlight their support for responsible innovation in the cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology space. They acknowledge that many crypto intermediaries are committed to compliance with U.S. sanctions and anti-money laundering laws, seeing these regulations as essential for the growth of crypto assets and distributed ledger technology.
This investigation request reflects the ongoing debate surrounding cryptocurrency regulation and its implications for the industry. The Department of Justice’s findings will be closely monitored by both the crypto community and regulatory authorities.