UN’s Svetlana Martynova on terrorists using cryptocurrency for funding purposes

It is believed that terrorist groups which have been subjected to exclusions from the “formal financial systems” have made a switch to cryptocurrency for funding of their activities, as stated by Svetlana Martynova, the Countering Financing of Terrorism Coordinator at the United Nations (UN), as reported by Cointelegraph.

According to Cointelegraph, the UN official provided the comments during a speech at a “Special Meeting” run conducted by the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) in New Delhi and Mumbai on October 28-29, 2022, which was aimed towards emerging technologies for terrorist purposes.

“We know terrorists adapt to the evolution of conditions around them and as technologies evolve they adapt as well. If they’re excluded from the formal financial system and they want to purchase or invest in something with anonymity, and they’re advanced for that, they’re likely to abuse cryptocurrencies,” Martynova stated.

On the basis of information by Cointelegraph, Antonio Guterres, secretary general, UN, highlighted that while emerging technologies carry the potential to introduce improvement human conditions, the harm can be expanded beyond terror financing. 

“Terrorists and others posing hateful ideologies are abusing new and emerging technologies to spread disinformation, foment discord, recruit and radicalize, mobilise resources and execute attacks,” Guterres highlighted.

Moreover, Cointelegraph noted that with regard to UN plans for handling threats at a global level, Martynova cited the main challenge being the addition of nation-states in the regulation. “We have very clear global standards from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the resolutions of UNSC,” Martynova mentioned. However, Martynova stated that only a couple of countries have started to work on the regulation for deterring of ill-intended non-state actors. In recent years, blockchain-based forensic firms have also started to work towards tracking of cybercriminals and report their activities to governments. Reportedly, the United States Department of the Treasury issued sanctions for cryptocurrency mixer Tornado Cash over money laundering and cybercrime concerns.

(With insights from Cointelegraph)

Also Read: Thailand collaborates with Hungary for introducing blockchain developments in financial sectors

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