READOUT: FinCEN Joins Harvard Kennedy School Event on the Role of Cryptocurrency in Financing Terrorism

Immediate Release

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—On November 9, a senior official from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) contributed to discussions on the role of cryptocurrency as a source of financing for terrorism during an event at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government. Participants discussed the analytical tools and anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism authorities available to prevent the use of cryptocurrency for illicit purposes. Engagements with external stakeholders play a critical role in the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s work to identify and mitigate terrorist financing.

As part of a whole-of-government effort, the U.S. Department of the Treasury is taking all steps necessary to deny the ability of illicit actors to raise and use funds worldwide for terrorist activities. Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson recently convened a roundtable with money services businesses to highlight Treasury actions to counter illicit finance, including in the virtual asset ecosystem, and to hear the group’s perspectives on techniques used by terrorist groups like Hamas to raise and move funds. And earlier this month, FinCEN hosted a FinCEN Exchange focused on the threat posed by the illicit use of convertible virtual currency in light of Hamas’ brutal terrorist attacks in Israel. Additionally, in late October, FinCEN issued an alert to aid financial institutions in identifying and reporting suspicious activity relating to financing Hamas.

FinCEN appreciates the critical support that financial institutions provide to law enforcement and national security agencies in fighting illicit activities through their suspicious activity reporting, and strongly encourages all financial institutions to register under USA PATRIOT Act Section 314(b) and to form associations to engage in voluntary information sharing. The U.S. Department of the Treasury will continue to use all available tools to identify and stop terrorist financing funding channels.