Bitcoin has navigated through issues of money laundering websites, bankruptcy and abuse of investor monies. Finally, after good reviews in Homeland and Banking Senate Hearings and Federal Election Commission acceptance, there is a new hurdle to overcome and that is the Dept.of Defense (DOD), reports Bitcoin Magazine Friday.
The DOD has a unit called the Combatting Terrorism Technical Support Office (CTTSO). It has according to International Business Times sought out help from vendors for threats from the “state-of-the-art technologies,” such as Bitcoin, virtual currencies, terror finance, and Dark Web.
The program is reportedly being used to gain knowledge on emerging threats in order to develop response tactics should an act of terrorism occur. It is worth noting that US Dollars or other reserve currencies are just as likely if not more likely to be used for terrorism than crypto-currencies.
There has been no evidence that Bitcoin is being used for or has ever been used for terrorism. So, it begs the question, is the Government afraid of Bitcoin for its potential use for terrorism or for its potential to disrupt the status quo?
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held the first hearing on crypto-currencies and bitcoin testimony from entrepreneurial leaders as Jeremy Allaire last Nov. 18. The Committee joined by statements from then Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke who was encouraging to the future possibilities of Bitcoin and other type currencies.
The CSBS emerging payments committee group, a liaison to Congress, meets in Chicago this week. The government has not decided how to use Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. Is there a concentrated foreign attack upon the U.S. that Homeland Security should be aware? First, consider, that Bitcoin, the leading crypto-currency with the most time logged does not have that much money power in the U.S. system. It is still fledgling in its use. So, it is a good time to plan for preventive action.
The Guardian disclosed a summary in early April of the U.S. bank Wachovia and its involvement in supporting the financial transactions of drug cartels. Does this sound like the Silk Road of bitcoin misuse that the F.B.I. took down last Oct.?
According to The Guardian report there were billions of dollars in wire transfers through Mexican exchanges into Wachovia bank accounts. Cocaine and weapons were purchased, much like the smaller activities of Silk Road. The bank was sanctioned for $378.4 billion or the equivalent of one-third the gross national product of Mexico. Wachovia paid a $50 million fine. No one at the bank is under arrest.
The Silk Road Ross Ulbricht case will go to court in Nov. The seizure of bitcoins is listed as 29,655 with a value placed at $28 million owned now by its forfeiture rule to the Dept. of Justice. Ulbricht has filed a suit for the 144,336 bitcoins seized from his own account that is worth more than $130 million.
There have been illegal transactions and money laundering on both sides of the fence in US dollars and bitcoin currency transactions. Bitcoin will continue in its embrace by Bitcoin enthusiasts looking for inexpensive merchant fee costs and global transfer ease of a decentralized crypto-currency. Bitcoin is here to stay and currently the Federal Election Commission released on Thursday its acknowledgement that political committees could legally accept small bitcoin donations currently listed as $100 maximum but that is not set is stone.
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, (D-Boulder), announced Thursday that his re-election campaign will be accepting bitcoin for donations. He has been supporting this measure and on Capitol Hill supported the Bitcoin ATM placement in Rayburn House for use by Congressional representatives and staff.
"If you have cryptocurrency, it's your money and you're responsible for it," said Matt Bernier, organizer of the monthly Denver Cryptocurrency Meetup who pointed out that there were no additional fees that were attached to high credit card merchant fees if used in donating money to a campaign. He added, "There's nobody who can take it from you."