During a congressional hearing, US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a strong opponent of cryptocurrencies, recently emphasised its connection to fentanyl drug trades. The Massachusetts Democrat emphasised the necessity for her bill, the Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, to fix gaps in current legislation in her quest to fight money laundering.
Warren remarked during a Senate Banking Committee hearing, “Crypto is helping fund the fentanyl trade.” And we have the authority to stop it. It’s finally time.” Her proposed law intends to improve anti-money laundering regulations in order to prevent drug suppliers and cartels from using cryptocurrencies to support their criminal operations.
Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids ae responsible for many overdose deaths, with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimating more than 150 overdose deaths per day attributable to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the top supply nations for fentanyl and fentanyl-related drugs are China and Mexico.
During the session, Warren focused her attention on Elizabeth Rosenberg, the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes. She inquired about the use of bitcoins by Chinese enterprises in illegal drug trafficking. Rosenberg revealed that certain precursor makers and illegal drug organisations utilise cryptocurrency.
Warren reported, citing research company Elliptic, that 90 Chinese sources swapped precursor medications for cryptocurrency, totalling a whopping $54 billion in fentanyl tablets. This amount of fentanyl has the capacity to kill approximately 9 billion people, and it was all paid for through bitcoin transactions.
The Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act, first proposed by Warren last year, intends to assure compliance with anti-money laundering legislation in the crypto business while simultaneously combating terrorist funding. Warren’s scepticism of cryptocurrency goes beyond its involvement in the fentanyl trade; she has often chastised the market, considering it as fundamentally biassed towards crooks.
Warren’s worries about cryptocurrency abuse are worldwide in scope. In a separate session, she raised the possibility of North Korean bad actors using cryptocurrency to avoid sanctions
As Senator Elizabeth Warren supports her bill and emphasises the need of combating money laundering and criminal activities aided by cryptocurrencies, the discussion over digital asset regulation and its influence on global financial institutions continues.