US Treasury Official Destroys 'Crypto Funds Terrorists' Narrative

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Feb 15, 2024 - 12:45 AM

Remember this panic-stricken tirade from Senator Liz Warren on the dangers of unregulated, decentralized crypto funding terrorists...

"...we need new laws to crack down on crypto’s use in enabling terrorist groups, rogue nations, drug lords, ransomware gangs, and fraudsters to launder billions in stolen funds, evade sanctions, fund illegal weapons programs, and profit from devastating cyberattacks,

...oh, and centralized financial system entity CEO Jamie Dimon does not like the decentralized asset...

"If I were the government I'd close it down," he exclaimed in a congressional hearing.

"The actual use cases are sex trafficking, tax avoidance, money laundering, terrorism financing. It's not just people buying and selling bitcoin," he told CNBC's Joe Kernen later.

...oh, and SEC Chair Gary Gensler covering his slimy ass after being forced by public interest - and the law - to 'allow' spot bitcoin ETFs...

Bitcoin is “a speculative, volatile asset that’s also used for illicit activity including ransomware, money laundering, sanction evasion, and terrorist financing.” 

Well, surprise, surprise, they are all full of shit.

As many of you may remember, we showed why this was a false narrative in words and pictures for those with learning disabilities in Washington:

But, just in case you didn't believe us, today, no lesser member of the great and good than U.S. Department of Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) Brian Nelson told the truth about the de minimus relative scale of crypto-financed terror during a House Financial Services Committee hearing. (full transcript here)

Specifically, Nelson testified on Wednesday that terrorist group Hamas has received very little support in digital assets – countering earlier reports that it got tens of millions in crypto.

As a reminder, CoinDesk reports that just after Hamas' terrorist attacks in Israel last year, crypto was quickly blamed for helping fund such brutal killing.

While the Wall Street Journal in October had tied tens of millions of dollars in crypto payments to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and others, citing a blog post by analytics firm Elliptic that was later edited, the account represented a misunderstanding of what assets actually fell into the hands of terrorists.

The Journal had largely revised the initial reporting after blockchain analytical firms Elliptic and Chainalysis offered data to refute it.

"...we do not expect the number is very high particularly..." Nelson replied to Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06)'s question on just how much crypto actually got into the hands of Hamas or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad?

"To be clear, Hamas is using crypto in relatively small amounts compared to what's been widely reported," Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) prompted Nelson at the Wednesday hearing.

"That's our assessment," Nelson answered, additionally clarifying that those groups have their eyes on other methods of support, adding that:

"... we also assess that terrorists frankly prefer to use traditional products and services."

But, ironically, having admitted all that fearmongering about terrorists using crypto to finance their efforts to blow up the world was false (or a giant exaggeration at best), Nelson then proceeded to ask for more funding to watch out for terrorist funding via crypto, and had said in his earlier, prepared remarks that the government is "focused on disrupting these groups’ ability to leverage digital assets."

We won't be holding our breath for Lizzy's apology...

But, from this day forth, whenever this bullshit narrative is unfurled by those with ulterior motives (control, power, career), please refer them to Brian Nelson.