US officials claim neo-Nazi groups are using Bitcoin to spread terror

The US House Financial Services Committee has been discussing the use of Bitcoin in domestic terror financing, with some experts claiming it is now being used by neo-Nazi groups.

Jared Maples, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness Director, has said domestic terror groups are likely to ramp up their use of the cryptocurrency to fund their nefarious activities.

He was joined by Anti-Defamation League Senior Vice President George Selim and Congressional Research Service finance expert Rena Miller.

The trio predicted that with the rise of crypto awareness, it will become more widely used by white supremacists and other hate groups.

Infamous crypto sceptic Congressman Brad Sherman was in agreement, saying: “If it works for Hamas, it will work for the Nazis too.”

BTC use on the rise

Maples likewise referenced Hamas and suggested domestic terrorists had taken a page out of its playbook in using Bitcoin for both secrecy and privacy.

He alleged there had been a $60,000 donation in BTC given to Andrew Anglin, publisher of far-right media outlet The Daily Stormer, following the attack in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.

When asked about how to counter terror groups, Maples said it was important to be mindful and to “get the processes right”.

Interestingly, it isn’t just Bitcoin they are using to finance their attacks.

Recent reports suggest as many as 54 white supremacist groups are utilising Apple’s iTunes, earning roughly 70 cents for each song downloaded on the music platform.

Selim has recommended agencies pursue more rigorous prosecutions of domestic terror funding sources and utilise data from various fields such as finance, technology, civil rights, and civil liberties groups alongside studying new forms of money such as digital currencies.

Interested in reading more cryptocurrency and terror-related stories? Discover more about the UK’s FCA becoming the anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing supervisor for businesses conducting cryptoasset activities.

 

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