Director for the FBI Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee at a recent hearing on security threats facing the U.S.
On November 5, the senators asked leaders from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and National Counterterrorism Center questions including counterterrorism efforts, cybersecurity measures, and foreign influence on elections, border security and cryptocurrencies.
Former Presidential Candidate and Republican Senator from Utah, Mitt Romney, probed the intelligence officials whether the country should not make some effort in dealing with cryptos and the challenges they present to law enforcement’s anti-terrorist activities.
“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.”
FBI Director Wray was first in answering the question and said that cryptos already pose a problem for the agency.
“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 or not that is the subject of some kind of regulation as the response is harder for me to speak to,” Wray said.
He concluded by saying that the agency is already watching cryptocurrencies using “tools that we have to try to follow the money.” Wray added that if the United States does not keep up with new technologies, it will ultimately find itself being “walled off.”
Australian Minister says terrorists utilize crypto to finance deadly missions
During a counter-terror conference in Melbourne on Thursday, the Australian Minister of Home Affairs Peter Dutton warned that terrorists are using cryptos to “fund their deadly missions.”
Dutton stated that the anonymity of cryptos allows extremists to bypass scrutiny and that the rising utilization of digital currencies, online payment systems, stored-value cards and crowdfunding sites may offer new channels through which to fund terrorism.