According to an official press release from the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, despite the mass fears and doubts about the cryptocurrency being possibly used for financing terrorism, such way of supporting illicit activities was proved useless.
On September 7, the Committee held a discussion “Examining Terrorist Groups and Their Means of Financing Illicit Activity.” During the session, the members of the commission came to a conclusion that digital money is a “poor form of money” when it comes to supporting terrorists, and that cryptocurrency do not pose any threat to national security.
According to Yaya Fanusie, director of analysis for the Foundation For Defense of Democracies Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance in a prepared testimony delivered to the House Financial Services Committee, a number of terrorist groups including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have tried to use digital money with fundraising purpose, but their attempts did not succeed.
One of such examples was a terror group known as Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) in the Environs of Jerusalem, which held its fundraising campaign in 2016, and resulted in raising not more than $500 in donations.
The main reason of such failures lays in the fact that the majority of terrorist organizations are located in environments with poor Internet, where cash rules the world. Despite digital money are considered to be one of the most reliable sourse for those seeking for anonymity, there is still nothing more anonymous than simple cash.
Yaya Fanusie noted:
“The good news is that most terrorists, particularly those operating on jihadist battlefields, inhabit environments not currently conducive to cryptocurrency use. Still there are multiple examples of terrorist cryptocurrency funding campaigns.”
As the government’s response to terroristic attempts of using bitcoin in illicit actions Yaya Fanusie offered to ensure rigorous enforcement of KYC and AML regulations for crypto exchanges while at the same time finding a way to deal with the growing threat posed by smaller exchanges offering trades in privacy coins:
“By preparing now for terrorists’ increasing usage of cryptocurrencies, the U.S. can limit the ability to turn digital currency markets into a sanctuary for illicit finance.”
Apart from terrorists trying to get engaged into digital world for monetary purposes, there have also been recorded a few white supremacist groups around the world attempting to raise funds in cryptocurrency. In comparison to terrorists, some of these groups were a success. In January 2018, Forbes reported that a supremacist platforms Daily Stormer managed to raise millions of dollars in anonymous donations with the help of bitcoin.