Crypto Threat To Domestic Elections?
When most people think of cryptocurrencies, they consider the value, the volatility, and the potential regulations that may take place. An issue that usually doesn’t come to mind though is the potential for the currency to be used to influence American elections. Interestingly enough, several senators think it is a real possibility.
According to Scott Dueweke, director of DarkTower, a threat analysis company, appeared before a Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. At the hearing, he argued that cryptocurrencies can be used by foreign agents to influence elections in the United States. Accordingly, he stated that lawmakers may want to address identity solutions that may prevent the undue influence from taking place. Dueke stated
“There is a global shell game being played now.” And that “[Potential influencers] exchange one form of money for another . . . fiat currency in and fiat currency out, but in between you’re going to have these multiple layers of cryptocurrency that are going to be impossible to track.”
David Murry, the vice president of Financial Integrity Network, added to Dueke’s concerns. He stated that there is a difference between using cryptocurrencies and donations to organizations through financial institutions. He stated,
“When donors use financial intermediaries such as banks to execute donations, the lotion of the financial intermediary is a data point that campaigns can use to identify foreign donors.”
Senators seemed to agree with the statements, particular Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who stated that
“cryptocurrency can be used for money laundering in elections” and as a result, create a “host of challenges for Congress and regulators.”
Dueke responded, stated that
“combining better forensics to understand the source of funds, tied to stronger identity attribution for those placing political ads is critical” and “we have to be able to identify the people that are fanning these flames.”