US Sen. Elizabeth Warren known as out cryptocurrency’s function in fentanyl drug transactions and pushed for her invoice to fight cash laundering throughout a congressional listening to on Wednesday.
The Massachusetts Democrat, and longstanding crypto critic, mentioned her invoice, the Digital Asset Anti-Cash Laundering Act, will shut loopholes “in our anti-money laundering guidelines and cuts off medication suppliers and cartels from utilizing crypto to gasoline their unlawful enterprise.”
“Crypto helps fund the fentanyl commerce. And we now have the facility to close that down. It is time,” Warren added throughout a Senate Banking Committee listening to.
Fentanyl and different artificial opioids are the most typical medication concerned in overdose deaths and over 150 folks die daily from overdoses associated to artificial opioids like fentanyl, in keeping with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
China and Mexico are the first supply nations for fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances as of 2020, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Warren requested Elizabeth Rosenberg, the Treasury Division’s assistant secretary for Terrorist Financing and Monetary Crimes, about whether or not Chinese language corporations used crypto in unlawful drug transactions.
Rosenberg, who testified on the listening to, mentioned sure.
“Sadly, that could be a mode that a few of these precursor producers and illicit drug organizations have used,” Rosenberg mentioned.
Warren additionally cited figures from analysis agency Elliptic displaying 90 Chinese language suppliers offered “sufficient precursor medication in alternate for crypto to provide $54 billion price of fentanyl drugs.”
“That’s sufficient fentanyl to kill practically 9 billion folks, all paid for by crypto,” Warren mentioned.
Warren’s stance on crypto
Warren first launched her Digital Asset Anti-Cash Laundering Act late final 12 months, which seeks to convey the crypto trade into compliance with the prevailing anti-money laundering whereas additionally countering terrorism financing.
Warren has lengthy criticized crypto, calling it an trade “that’s constructed to favor scammers.”
Warren has additionally voiced considerations about unhealthy actors in North Korea utilizing crypto to evade sanctions in a hearing earlier this month.