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US Senator Warren Calls out Crypto As “Choice of Payment” for Child Sex

Senator Warren launched a fresh attack on the crypto industry on Friday, claiming it was a choice of payment for child sex abuse materials.

US Senator Warren

In a letter jointly written to US Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on Friday, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bill Cassidy have called digital assets, notably cryptocurrencies, the “payment of choice” for transactions involving child sexual abuse materials (CSAM).

The senators also reached out to the US Attorney, claiming that the crime rate in the sector has worsened recently. They urged the federal government to assess the growing menace and state the “additional tools and resources” required to combat this disturbing trend effectively.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren is known for her anti-crypto stance, having made several demeaning statements about the sector in the past. In July 2023, she proposed an anti-crypto law that she claimed would clamp down on using cryptocurrencies for money laundering and terrorism financing.

Lawmakers Launch Fresh Crypto Attack

The lawmakers, led by Warren, raised alarms over the escalating use of cryptocurrency as the preferred payment method for perpetrators of child sexual abuse and exploitation. The letter, which cited findings from a February FinCEN Trend Analysis and a recent Chainalysis report, underscored the growing trend of criminals turning to digital assets for illicit transactions. 

According to the letter, the current anti-money laundering regulations and law enforcement strategy employed by the law enforcement agency were inadequate for effectively tackling these crimes. The lawmakers urged Congress and the administration to step up efforts to address these challenges and strengthen measures to combat cryptocurrency-related child exploitation.

The letter faulted the anonymity of cryptocurrency transaction facilities, noting it was an instrument exploited to perpetuate these CSAM payments. However, the senators noted that, through meticulous research, they discovered about 1,800 bitcoin wallets that were linked to child sex financing between 2020 and 2022.

Senators Seek Response from DOJ

Warren and Cassidy prompted the US DOJ to publish its findings on the use of cryptocurrency as a tool for child sexual abuse material facilitation as well as its challenges in curbing this escalating menace. The senators said they expect a response to their inquiry by May 10.

The US DOJ has also had its fair share of crypto clampdowns, majorly on exchanges. On March 26, the law enforcement agency charged KuCoin for violating the anti-money laundering law.

Elendu Benedict

Elendu Benedict is a professional writer with sheer competence in crypto-related journalism. With a background in Engineering, Benedict specialises on news related to ETFs, market analysis, and macroeconomic policies that affects the crypto market.