At a Senate hearing on Wednesday, US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) called for an end to the crypto-funded fentanyl trade. “Crypto is helping fund the fentanyl trade, and we have the power to shut that down,” Warren said. “It's time.”
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that has been linked to thousands of overdose deaths in recent years. It can be purchased online with cryptocurrency, making it easier for drug traffickers to move their product across borders without detection. This has led to an increase in fentanyl production and distribution worldwide.
In her statement, Senator Warren noted that closing loopholes in existing crypto regulations could help stop the flow of money into the illicit fentanyl trade.
She also called for increased international collaboration between governments and law enforcement agencies to combat this global problem.
The issue of cryptocurrency funding for illegal activities has been gaining attention in recent months as more countries look into regulating digital assets. In April 2021, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) released new guidelines on how countries should regulate virtual asset service providers (VASPs). The guidelines are intended to help prevent criminals from using cryptocurrencies for money laundering and other illicit activities.
Senator Warren's call for action comes at a critical time as governments around the world grapple with how best to regulate digital assets and protect citizens from potential harm caused by crypto-funded criminal activity.