The Campaign for Accountability Raises Concerns Over Circle’s Links to Terrorist Financing
According to the non-profit ethics watchdog organization, Campaign for Accountability (CfA), a recent letter was written to US senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown regarding potential ties between Circle, the issuer of the USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin, and terrorist financing activities.
Circle Compromised By Integration With TRON, CfA Says
CfA’s letter, dated November 9, identified concerns over the use of crypto for money laundering and referenced a similar concern raised by Warren and Brown in a recent letter to the National Security Advisor and Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. The group cited law enforcement reports indicating that Circle, a US-based cryptocurrency company, may be involved in suspicious activities due to its integration with TRON, a network involved in international lawsuits.
Today, CfA sent a letter to @SenSherrodBrown & @SenWarren alerting them to info around the role crypto entrepreneur Justin Sun, his blockchain TRON, and the US-based stablecoin issuer Circle may be playing in the financing of terrorist organizations. https://t.co/cEukrlC0XL
— Campaign for Accountability (@Accountable_Org) November 9, 2023
The group highlighted the presence of over $400 million worth of USDC within the TRON ecosystem. This is concerning as the TRON network is currently under investigation for billion-dollar transactions by suspected crime groups and internationally sanctioned parties.
CfA referenced a seizure directive from the National Bureau for Counter-Terror Financing of Israel aimed at Palestinian Islamic terrorist group Jihad, which pinpointed 26 TRON wallets holding a total value of $93 million in various assets, including USDC. Additionally, they cited a report from crypto analysis platform ChainArgos that identified addresses redeeming large quantities of USDC for USD and receiving funds from wallets associated with Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups.
Concerns were also raised about Circle’s links to suspicious activities, particularly given the company’s association with major Wall Street entities such as Goldman Sachs, Bank of New York Mellon (BNY), and BlackRock Inc.
CfA Slams Regulation Agencies For Circle’s ‘Non-Accountability’
In the letter to Warren and Brown, the Campaign for Accountability attributed Circle’s suspected links to terrorism financing to a lack of oversight. They noted that, unlike most cryptocurrency firms and their partners, Circle is not registered with any regulatory body in the United States, despite being responsible for over $25 billion in cryptocurrency. The group criticized US State regulators and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allowing Circle to operate without oversight for a decade.
CfA believes that under appropriate regulatory authority, Circle would have been prevented from issuing the USDC token on networks such as TRON that likely fall short of US compliance standards.
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