US senators cracking down on crypto use in child abuse trade

    U.S. senators Elizabeth Warren and Bill Cassidy have urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to double down on their efforts to combat crypto use in the market for child sex abuse material (CSAM).

    In a letter of grave concern to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, the US senators have specifically requested the DOJ and DHS to transparently disclose their technical capacity to counter the use of cryptocurrencies in the CSAM market.

    “Existing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules and law enforcement methods face challenges in effectively detecting and preventing these crimes,” the letter read.

    The senators cited research from analytics firm Chainalysis as a foundation for their concern. The 2024 report indicated an increase in cryptocurrency use for CSAM trades. Bad actors allegedly use cryptocurrency “mixers” and “privacy coins” like Monero to launder funds while making it hard for law enforcement to track.

    “The pseudonymity provided by cryptocurrency has allowed the payments for CSAM to “move quickly into the crypto world,” and we are committed to ensuring that Congress and the Administration have the full suite of tools needed to end CSAM and punish sellers of this Material.”

    The letter comprised of six questions. Three questions were aimed at considering the findings of the said federal agencies regarding crypto and its connection to CSAM. The other questions sought new tools that would allow law enforcement to identify and crack down on buyers and sellers in this market.

    The federal agencies have until May 10 to respond to the senators.

    As previously reported by, crypto exchange Binance was allegedly involved in facilitating transactions related to CSAM material and other criminal activities. The exchange was charged by federal authorities, and the exchange’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, is expected to face a 36-month prison sentence.

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