CRYPTOCURRENCIES: A GROWING THREAT

Cryptocurrencies and the industry have been under the spotlight for the past few years. With the growing blockchain economy with many businesses adopting the technology, and many startups inventing dApps, cryptocurrency started getting noticed and recognized by governments around the world.

Whilst China was the first to completely block initial coin offerings (ICO) in September 2017, things started to change. With thousands of Bitcoin ATMs around the world, and hundreds of thousands blockchain-based startups, the concept is likely to evolve until it gets a worldwide point-blank acceptance.

Thus the crypto industry doesn’t stop evolving, FBI authorities believe it’s imposing a serious threat. In a testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Director for the Federal Bureau of Investigation Christopher Wray expressed his concerns on topics including foreign influence in elections, cybersecurity, counterterrorism efforts, border security and crypto.

The U.S. needs to keep up with new technologies to not get “walled up”

“I’m not in the Banking Committee. I don’t begin to understand how cryptocurrency works. I would think it is more difficult to carry out your work when we can’t follow the money because the money is hidden from us and wonder whether there should not be some kind of effort taken in our nation to deal with cryptocurrency. […] For us, cryptocurrency is already a significant issue and we can project out pretty easily that it’s going to become a bigger and bigger one. Whether that is the subject of some kind of regulation as the response is harder for me to speak to.”

Wray stated that the FBI is working hard on keeping aware of cryptocurrency and its movement, using tools that follow the money.

Terrorists fund deadly missions with crypto

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, Australian Minister of Home Affairs Peter Dutton stated that terrorists are extensively using crypto to “fund their deadly missions”. What cryptocurrencies offer – anonymity, allows extremists to provide new ways to finance terrorism.