The Department of Homeland Security has a peculiar relation to Bitcoin and crypto currency. On one side, it looks for de-anonymization of users at the time when illegal activity is suspected. On the other side, there is a great deal of interest for the crypto money.
Although the Homeland Security Assessment of Terrorists Use of Virtual Currencies Act was drafted in May 2017, it only became public knowledge few days ago. This bill has been passed by the House of Representatives with few people knowing about it. The interesting points about this bill is how it relates to the concept of virtual currencies. The aim is to make a proper threat assessment on how terrorist use of crypto money. The United States government is very concerned about the activity of the terrorist, either domestic or international. Organizations operated by the terrorist, for their funding, collect millions of dollars every 3 months, but there is no one who knows for a fact how they manage to do that.
4 months from the enactment of the Homeland Security Assessment of Terrorists Use of Virtual Currency Act, a threat assessment in relation to cryptocurrency will be conducted. Undersecretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis will be taking care of this task that he will coordinate with the appropriate federal partners. At the time when this assessment is completed, a task force will look solutions to prevent this.
The huge question is how this new Act will define virtual currencies as it related to any representation of value in digital form. While this involves cryptocurrencies, it should also be looked at from a much deeper perspective. Any representation of value that is online, like a PayPal, a prepaid or a virtual debit card would also fall under this category.
Currently, it remains a slightly unclear how this Act would affect cryptocurrenies and online payment systems. Cryptocurrencies have been referred to as a potential financial instrument for terrorist financing, not for the first time. But, officially the use of Bitcoin and other alternative coins in large amounts for this particular purpose has never been confirmed. Virtual money exists in many forms, shapes, and sizes. Some of them, anonymous in particular, can be exchanged or sold in regular stores, and they might turn become the larger threat overall.
The Homeland Security Assessment of Terrorists Use of Virtual Currencies Act is a strong tool for dealing with terrorist financing. At the same time, it is hard to predict how this venture impacts the industry as a whole. More information on this matter should be available by early 2018. And obviously, the cryptocurrency world will be watching this new task force closely.