- US Senator Cynthia Lummis asks the Department of Justice (DOJ) to criminally charge crypto exchange Binance and USDT issuer Tether.
- Lummis cites the two companies’ role in aiding illicit fundraising for terror.
- Blockchain security and analytics firm Elliptic says a WSJ report “misrepresented” data.
Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), notes in a post on X today that she had sent a letter to the DOJ with a view of having the Justice Department charge the two crypto companies for being “intermediaries” in reported illicit financing of Hamas.
When it comes to illicit finance, crypto is not the enemy – bad actors are.
I sent a letter asking DOJ to finish its investigation and consider criminal charges against Binance and Tether after reports they served as intermediaries for Hamas and engaged in illicit activities. pic.twitter.com/M3KGNFkpWc
— Senator Cynthia Lummis (@SenLummis) October 26, 2023
The letter, co-signed by Representative French Hill, Chair Subcommittee, House Financial Services, is part of a wider reaction to a recent Wall Street Journal report. The allegations in the report saw several lawmakers believe Hamas had raised millions of dollars in crypto funding before its attacks on Israel earlier this month.
But as blockchain analytics firm Elliptic noted in a blog post published on October 25, “there is no evidence to suggest that crypto fundraising” had resulted in the more than $130 million raised cited in the Wall Street Journal article.
Elliptic said its data and that from other platforms “has been misinterpreted.”
Nic Carter, partner at Castle Island Ventures, says crypto needs to stand up for itself in the wake of the latest regulatory developments. He shared on X:
Make no mistake. Journalists and senators lying about crypto financing terrorism and pinning the blame on us is an existential threat. If they win that information war there is no limit to government aggression. This is a battle we need to win. And the truth is on OUR side.
— nic 🌠 carter (@nic__carter) October 25, 2023
Brian Armstrong, co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, shares similar sentiments and believes one of the steps to getting it right here is for the WSJ to issue a retraction or correction.