How bitcoin along with cryptocurrencies are fueling America’s opioid crisis

The first things police seized when they raided Shamo’s home along with stash house were bags of cash, gold bars, a Ford pickup along that has a BMW. the item took another year for his bitcoin to show up in court paper.

“the item’s definitely been a process which we’ve never dealt with before,” said Skordas, Shamo’s attorney. “I’m old enough to remember when we did everything with cash.”

In Washington, lawmakers along with federal authorities believe stopping the flow of fentanyl means cracking down on cryptocurrencies as well.

A bipartisan bill coming from Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, along with Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., could create brand new language explicitly requiring digital currencies to comply with laws against money laundering. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called the use of bitcoin on the dark web “a big problem.” Earlier This particular year, he launched a task force targeting fentanyl sales over the internet.

“the item will help us make more arrests of those selling these deadly substances online as well as shut down the marketplaces which these drug dealers use — along with ultimately help us reduce addiction along with overdoses in This particular community along with across the nation,” Sessions said in January during a speech in Pennsylvania.

however crypto advocates argue which digital currencies are getting unnecessarily swept up from the rush to find a solution.

“Cryptocurrencies do not kill people. Opiates are killing tens of thousands of people a year,” said Perianne Boring, president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce. “Blaming bitcoin just for This particular crisis could make as much sense as blaming the internet or cars which drug traffickers have to use.”

Bitcoin users are not anonymous, industry groups say. They’re “pseudononymous”: Buying bitcoin requires real money. Many users convert which cash through cryptocurrency exchangers which collect personal information. along with they have to change their bitcoin back to real money once they’re ready to spend the item.

which’s where law enforcement can swoop in.

“One of the things we look for are pressure points,” said a Justice Department official, who requested anonymity to protect ongoing investigations. “At some point, bitcoin can be only as Great as where you can spend the item. You look at where the currency enters the mainstream financial system in order to get spent.”

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