Former U.S. Military Members, Intelligence Officers, National Security Professionals Send Letter to Congress to Address Role of Digital Assets in Illicit Finance

Washington, D.C. (Nov. 15, 2023) — Today, a coalition of digital asset industry companies and entrepreneurs with U.S. military and national security backgrounds sent a letter to members of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee to address and clarify misperceptions about illicit finance and money laundering.

Since the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas on Oct. 7, several major media stories have greatly exaggerated and oversimplified the role that digital assets play in global illicit finance. While the claims referenced in this reporting have been challenged, these stories continue to be used to push legislation that would be counterproductive to U.S. national security interests. 

On Tuesday, Nov. 28, a group of these signatories will visit Capitol Hill to offer their expertise to policymakers and answer questions about the true extent of illicit finance related to digital assets as well as solutions that will enhance U.S. cybersecurity without forcing the digital assets industry to jurisdictions beyond American control.

The following statement is attributed to Kristin Smith, CEO of Blockchain Association:

“It’s clear that there is a mismatch between the assumptions about the role that digital assets play in global financial transfers and the facts on the ground. The signatories state clearly that no amount of money, whether it be gold, dollars, or digital assets should be used to fund illicit activity, but we must also be able have a reasonable conversation about the latter when it comes to proposed solutions to the problem. We hope that expert voices from the digital assets industry will help balance the conversation and lead to real solutions that respect the technology and allow it to continue to grow in the United States.”

Please find the full text of the letter sent to the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee members here.