The U.S. Congress has called upon the Department of Justice (DOJ) to take decisive action against major players in the crypto world, Binance, and Tether, citing allegations of involvement in illicit financial activities. In a formal letter dated October 26th, addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, Congress expressed deep concern regarding unregulated crypto-asset intermediaries and their alleged role in illicit financial transactions.
This move by Congress follows reports suggesting that unregulated crypto-asset intermediaries may have facilitated significant illicit financial activity over the past two years. Lawmakers emphasized the importance of preventing a few bad actors from tarnishing the entire cryptocurrency industry’s reputation.
The Wall Street Journal reported that certain groups had received funding through cryptocurrencies, but subsequent investigations have cast doubt on the accuracy of these claims. Binance has previously been linked to illicit activities and is currently under investigation by the DOJ. Recent findings indicate that Binance may have knowingly facilitated transactions for entities involved in terrorism and may have violated sanctions laws and the Bank Secrecy Act.
Tether, a payment stablecoin issuer, is also under scrutiny for allegedly violating sanctions laws and the Bank Secrecy Act despite its product being used for illicit purposes.
In response to these allegations, Tether released an official statement reaffirming its commitment to transparency and compliance. Tether emphasized the need for direct and transparent communication to address the concerns raised.
Addressing the allegations of misinformation, Tether pointed out that recent reports suggesting a significant volume of illicit funds flowing through cryptocurrencies have been based on erroneous interpretations of data. Independent investigations by Chainalysis and Elliptic revealed inaccuracies in reports published by The Wall Street Journal, which have not been retracted. These discrepancies have raised concerns about the publication’s credibility.
Tether also highlighted its dedication to compliance and due diligence, emphasizing stringent verification processes and continuous monitoring mechanisms. The company pointed to its collaboration with law enforcement agencies, its efforts to freeze assets associated with illicit activities, and its commitment to curbing malicious actions within the cryptocurrency space.
Additionally, Tether stressed the transparency of blockchain technology, which inherently maintains an immutable record of all transactions. This transparency, the company argued, makes blockchain less attractive for illicit activities compared to traditional financial systems.
Tether concluded by encouraging comprehensive education in the cryptocurrency sector, calling for stakeholders, decision-makers, and the public to distinguish between conjecture and fact. The company pledged to remain open for constructive dialogue, clarification, and collaboration while maintaining its commitment to setting industry standards in integrity and security.