Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has instructed a hyperlink between cryptocurrency funds and firms primarily based in China that offered precursors for the opioid fentanyl.

In a Might 31 listening to of the USA Senate Banking Committee on China, Warren pointed to a report from blockchain analytics agency Elliptic to recommend a connection between cryptocurrency and “unlawful drug transactions” at Chinese language corporations. Elliptic reported on Might 23 that 90% of roughly 90 China-based companies supplying fentanyl precursors have been prepared to simply accept fee in cryptocurrencies together with Bitcoin (BTC).

“Crypto is supposedly banned in China,” stated Warren, continuing to quote knowledge from the Elliptic report. “The variety of crypto transactions related to Chinese language fentanyl brokers elevated by 450% simply final 12 months alone.”

Elizabeth Rosenberg, assistant secretary for terrorist financing and monetary crimes on the U.S. Treasury Division, instructed Warren that the drug brokers possible relied on the pseudonymous nature of crypto transactions for funds. Rosenberg confirmed Warren’s sentiment that crypto was one of many main fee strategies for Chinese language corporations.

The Massachusetts senator stated she deliberate to reintroduce laws aimed toward addressing a few of the regulatory gaps affecting these funds to corporations engaged within the unlawful drug commerce. Warren first launched the Digital Asset Anti-Cash Laundering Act in 2022 and has instructed at earlier congressional hearings on crypto she was making ready to reintroduce the invoice.

“Congress has talked about fentanyl lengthy sufficient. We suggest to do one thing to battle again.”

Associated: ‘If a authorities bans medicine, it also needs to ban crypto’ — Belgium’s former finance minister

In accordance with knowledge from the Nationwide Institutes of Well being, in 2021 there have been greater than 70,000 deaths involving the overdose of artificial opioids together with fentanyl in the USA. One of the crucial high-profile platforms which regularly facilitated unlawful drug transactions utilizing crypto funds, Silk Highway, was shut down in 2013 and its founder Ross Ulbricht sentenced to life in jail.

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