The United States Congress has passed a new bill with interesting stipulations into the study of digital assets. The Bipartisan bill passed by the US House of Representatives under the title “Fight Illicit Networks and Detect (FIND) Trafficking Act of 2019” will commission a study into how cryptocurrencies and online marketplaces are used in the promotion and encouragement of sex and drug trafficking. It is hoped that the study will result in regulatory and legislative action to stop these crimes.
California Democratic Representative, Juan Vargas, introduced the bill in June 2018 and commented that he was “glad to see that my bill, the FIND Trafficking Act, passed out of the House with strong bipartisan support”.
The Necessity Of Investigating The Role Of Cryptocurrency In Sex And Drug Trafficking
Mr Vargas appealed to the House the necessity for investigating the role of cryptocurrencies in these crimes. The bill will require the Comptroller General of the US to investigate the impact of cryptocurrencies on the illegal market for drugs and sex trafficking.
“If we are to craft effective regulatory and legislative solutions to combat these transnational criminal organizations, we need to fully study and analyse how virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used to facilitate sex and drug trafficking, to determine how best to eliminate their use”.
According to a press release from Vargas, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2017 National Drug Assessment ascertained that “transnational criminal organizations are increasingly using virtual currencies for illicit activities, including drug trafficking”.
The statement continues to say that virtual currencies are being used to run illegal online marketplaces to sell drugs and are contributing to the opioid crisis in America.
Mr Vargas does admit that although some cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dash, ZCash and Monero, can be used for legal purchases, the anonymity of digital currencies opens them up to being used for illegal activities. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have long faced accusations of being directly related to crime, this most recent bill, while lodged with good intentions, is possibly perpetuating this stereotype.