Warren Rejects Cryptocurrency Connections to Child Sexual Abuse in Letter to the DOJ and Homeland Security


The two senators from different parties in the United States emphasized the long history of cryptocurrency as a means to buy adult content.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a prominent crypto critic, recently wrote to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, asking for his guidance on how to combat the use of digital assets in the sexual exploitation of children.

This week, Warren and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-La.) wrote a letter to Garland and Alejandro Mayorkas, the head of the United States Department of Homeland Security, highlighting cryptocurrencies as a major instrument enabling materials for child sexual abuse.

Lawmakers made the observation that cryptocurrency has emerged as “the payment of choice for perpetrators of child sexual abuse and exploitation,” referencing a February FinCEN Trend Analysis pertaining to 2020 and 2021 transactions as well as a January Chainalysis report. “We want to make sure that lawmakers and the government are doing what they can to fix the problems with the current laws and procedures that try to stop money laundering. These laws and procedures aren’t working very well.”

There have been several high-profile cases involving the use of digital tokens to finance child abuse, such as the 2019 bust of the Welcome to Video pornography site run by a South Korean national and the subsequent pursuit of a Dutch national who made $1.6 million in bitcoin (BTC) running a darkweb rape and child porn site.

Although analytical technologies and law-enforcement methods have raised doubts about the anonymity of crypto, it still became a popular payment method. The lawmakers’ crypto usage statistics were mostly from a few years ago. The Chainalysis analysis from earlier this year did call it “a growing problem.”

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