The cryptocurrency market is now a threat to the process of U.S. elections. That’s according to a cybersecurity consultant.
‘Tailor-Made for Money Laundering’
Scott Dueweke, a cybersecurity consultant in Washington, was speaking to a Senate hearing yesterday. Speaking on the issue of anonymity when impacting U.S. elections, he said:
The exchange of digital assets can occur without the need for a central issuing authority. [He added that this makes them ‘tailor-made for money laundering.’]
During the 2016 presidential election, cryptocurrencies were not widely used. Now, though, they are considered a “formidable weapon,” according to witnesses and senators, reports Bloomberg Quint. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, reportedly 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.
These comments come ahead of the November midterm elections, which will see Americans head to the polls on November 6th. During the elections, members will be elected to each of the 435 House seats and 34 of the 100 Senate seats. The stakes are high for President Donald Trump. A Democrat victory on either side would enable the party to derail his legislative and executive agenda.
Money Laundering and Cryptocurrency
With cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin gaining momentum, so too is the risk of money laundering. Toward the end of 2017, interest in the crypto market rose, pushing Bitcoin’s price to within touching distance of $20,000.
Unfortunately, crypto assets such as Monero, Dash, or Zcash, considered privacy coins, are presenting a new opportunity for criminals. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates that between $800 billion and $2 trillion, or 2-5 percent of global GDP, is washed each year, reports The Economist.
Unlike the fiat monetary system, the cryptocurrency market is still relatively small. As such, it doesn’t play such a significant role in money laundering. Yet, it’s gaining the attention of nefarious individuals. Consequently, it’s potential among the criminal world could grow in the future. Even though money launderers present a risk to crypto assets, it’s hardly going to prevent their use from growing.
Additionally, the upcoming November elections aren’t going to put a stop to the crypto market. At the end of the day, whether it’s the cryptocurrency market or dirty money that’s used, money laundering will still happen.
Do you think digital currencies present a threat to U.S. elections? Let us know in the comments below.
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