The Fight Illicit Network and Detect (FIND) Trafficking Act is being introduced by congressman Juan Vargas of California to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services. If the bill is passed, it would require the Comptroller General of the United States to investigate the illicit use of cryptocurrencies for drug trafficking and sex trafficking in online marketplaces.
No later than one year after the bill is enacted, the Comptroller General would have to submit a report to the Committees on Banking, Housing, Urban Affairs, and Financial Services. This report must include recommendations for legislative and regulatory action that would improve federal government efforts to hinder the use of cryptocurrencies for drug dealing and sex trafficking, as well as how to successfully enforce justice against dark web markets.
This is part of a continuing effort during the presidency of Donald Trump to put an end to sex trafficking. FOSTA-SESTA was passed by the US House of Representatives and made it illegal to post ads for prostitutes online, shutting down popular sections of the websites Backpage and Craigslist.
In general, the US government has been increasing regulation of cryptocurrency but for the most part, has been legalizing and legitimizing its use to the point that big Wall Street firms are beginning to invest in and explore cryptocurrency.
Drug dealing played an essential role in Bitcoin’s initial popularity and evolution, especially on the Silk Road where users could buy drugs and weapons. Silk Road only accepted Bitcoin since Bitcoin was relatively anonymous and could be sent anywhere in the world instantly, and collected BTC 9.5 million of revenue from sales, then worth USD 1.2 billion, before getting shut down by law enforcement.
Now Bitcoin is mostly being used for legal goods, services, and investments as it has expanded into a global currency with a market cap of hundreds of billions of USD. Bitcoin’s image and reputation would stand to improve further if the US government shut down illicit drug dealing and sex trafficking associated with cryptocurrency.
There is probably no way to completely stop drug dealing and sex trafficking with Bitcoin and cryptocurrency though, just like there’s no way to completely stop cash from being used for the same purposes.
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