According to The Middle East Research Institute, a research, and analysis organization, extremist middle east organizations have been soliciting donations in the form of cryptocurrency through social media, especially on the massaging app Telegram. A company called Elliptic is developing tools to track cryptocurrency purchases and how they are used by criminal organizations worldwide. It says that Hamas is making some of their donations untraceable by providing visitors Bitcoin addresses for the receipt of donations.
Unlike purchase payments made in more traditional banks, blockchain transactions settle in a matter of seconds or minutes without central authority oversight guidance or reviews if a purchase appears to be made by an unregistered company or person seeking identity protection. Governments are mostly impotent to stopping drug cartels from using cryptocurrencies to launder their massive funds.
Even some nations have been attracted to the private nature of this currency. According to the United Nations Security Council, North Korea has been using cryptocurrency exchanges to evade U.S. sanctions. Likewise, Venezuela has created its own cryptocurrency to evade sanctions of the United States.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the Treasury Department’s concerns around money laundering and terrorist financing are right at the top of regulators’ priority list when it comes to cryptocurrencies. He said this summer that he had “very serious concerns” about cryptocurrencies, including the one being developed by Facebook, the latest indication that Washington is preparing to exert its power over digital currencies. In a briefing at the White House, Mr. Mnuchin said cryptocurrencies posed a national security threat because they can be used to fund illicit activities. He also said that the Trump administration was “not comfortable” with Facebook’s plans to begin a digital payment system, called Libra.