Senator Elizabeth Warren Questions Crypto Lobby in Letter to CoinCenter, Blockchain Association and Coinbase

Warren said she's concerned crypto advocates are employing former defense and national security officials in an effort to influence regulation.

By: Camila Russo Loading...

A letter with a magnifying glass on top.

In her latest anti-crypto move, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to major industry members expressing concern about their lobby efforts.

Warren said in a Dec. 18 letter that she was troubled by a report that "crypto interests" are employing former defense, national security and law enforcement officials to potentially thwart Congress and the Biden Administration's efforts to crack down on crypto.

Warren argued that the entities' goal is to prevent regulators from controlling crypto's role in financing terrorist organizations.

Warren claimed cryptocurrencies are becoming an essential component of Hamas's operational activities, ignoring reports from analytics firms like Elliptic, which said there’s “no evidence” that Hamas is receiving a significant volume of crypto donations.

She also said that the fact that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to charges relating to the inability to prevent and report suspicious transactions with terrorist organizations somehow also proved her point.

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Bullying Stunt

Crypto advocacy group CoinCenter, which posted its reply on X, said, "engaging like-minded experts to advocate against legislative proposals that one sincerely believes are unconstitutional and detrimental to the nation's welfare does not constitute 'undermining bipartisan efforts in Congress.'"

"Rather, it is the exercise of the fundamental right to freely associate and petition the government," CoinCenter said.

CoinCenter Executive Director Jerry Brito called the letter a "bullying publicity stunt."

Revolving Door

Warren talked about a "revolving door," where former government officials go on to serve private-sector industries immediately after leaving their public service roles.

Warren has called this "an appalling misuse", and suggests that it has opened significant gaps in the country’s ethics laws.

Kristin Smith of the Blockchain Association said the group will "continue to constructively engage in Washington, educating our policymakers and participating in the legislative process, so that the crypto community can continue to build the technology that will reform the legacy systems that Sen. Warren has long criticized."

Warren ended the three-page letter with a series of questions on the details about supposed employment of former military and government officials.