Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Cryptocurrencies May Be Used To Intervene In US Elections

Cryptocurrency may be used by foreign operatives who are looking to meddle with US elections. They can conceal themselves and their activities through cryptocurrency. These were discussed on a hearing of the Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism last June 26 as reported in Bloomberg.

According to Scott Dueke, a cybersecurity consultant in Washington during the hearing, “Foreign parties, state actors and, potentially, others interested in affecting U.S. political processes need anonymity.” He furthered that “The exchange of digital assets can occur without the need for a central issuing authority, which in return can make them “tailor-made for money laundering.”

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s concern on cryptocurrency is that it is a gateway for foreigners to intervene in US elections. Last 2016, Russia has allegedly influenced the US elections. At that time, cryptocurrency was not yet widely used compared today.

The consistent increasing popularity of cryptocurrency is considered to be a dreadful weapon to those who want to meddle or manipulate the elections, the senators explained.

With this in mind, Whitehouse said, “Vladimir Putin and his oligarchs can use the exact same tactics that American special interests use to spend anonymous money in our elections and secure influence.” Murray, the Vice President of the Financial Integrity Network, said that there is indeed a problem with transparency on digital money. It happens when a cryptocurrency is exchanged for another cryptocurrency. He agreed with Dueweke’s opinion about the danger of cryptocurrency if used by foreigners to influence the US election according to Cointelegraph.

One of Dueweke’s major concerns is Russia’s use of cryptocurrency and its interest to develop its own cryptocurrency. This would potentially put Russia in a position to benefit from money laundering activities using cryptocurrencies.

Even though cryptocurrencies can be used for various illegal activities, Duwenke still believes in the immense possibilities of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. He does not consider cryptocurrency as inherently bad. He added that we must not attach any negative thoughts about it.

Duweke asks for the cooperation of government agencies and private entities on a global level to help in identifying the different illegal uses of cryptocurrencies.

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