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U.S. Threatens Cryptocurrency Companies Over Illicit Finance

In a stern warning to cryptocurrency companies, Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo declared that the U.S. government is prepared to sever ties between these entities and the broader U.S. economy if they do not take adequate measures to block and report illicit money flows. Speaking at an event hosted by the Blockchain Association, Adeyemo emphasized the need for crypto companies to play a more active role in preventing the flow of illicit finance, citing the potential risk to national security.

U.S. Threatens Cryptocurrency Companies Over Illicit Finance

Adeyemo asserted, "Our actions over the last year send a clear message: we will not hesitate to bring to bear tools across government to protect our national security." He highlighted the Biden administration's recent move to request new legislation from Congress, seeking to grant the Treasury the authority to police cryptocurrency marketplaces used by entities deemed illicit by the U.S. government.

This development follows the issuance of sanctions by the U.S. in October, targeting funding for the Palestinian militant group Hamas after deadly attacks in Israel. Notably, a Gaza-based cryptocurrency exchange was singled out among other targets in these sanctions.


The announcement comes on the heels of Binance chief Changpeng Zhao's guilty plea to breaking U.S. anti-money laundering laws. As part of a substantial $4.3 billion settlement, Zhao stepped down as the CEO of the world's largest crypto exchange, acknowledging that mistakes had been made. Prosecutors alleged that Binance violated U.S. anti-money laundering and sanctions laws, failing to report over 100,000 suspicious transactions with organizations designated by the U.S. as terrorist groups, including Hamas, al Qaeda, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

In response to these allegations, Binance stated that it had diligently worked to enhance the platform's safety and security. The broader implications of these developments underscore the increasing scrutiny of cryptocurrency companies by the U.S. government and the necessity for stronger measures to combat illicit financial activities within the sector.



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