Crypto is funding businesses in China that fuel the fentanyl trade, Senator Elizabeth Warren says
- Crypto is funding businesses in China that supply fentanyl, Senator Elizabeth Warren warned.
- Digital currencies could be funding $540 billion worth of fentanyl pills on the market, per Elliptic data.
Senator Elizabeth Warren this week called for greater regulation of the cryptocurrency market as a recent report shows digital currencies are being used to fund the fentanyl trade in China.
At a Wednesday hearing at the Senate Banking Committee, Warren pointed to crypto's use among Chinese businesses that produce and sell fentanyl, citing statistics from a recent Elliptic report.
Researchers from the blockchain analytics firm found that 90% of Chinese companies that supplied fentanyl accepted payments in cryptocurrency.
Crypto wallets owned by these companies have already received $27 million in payments, an amount that could potentially be used to supply up to $54 billion in fentanyl pills in street value, per Elliptic's analysis.
"That is enough fentanyl to kill nearly 9 billion people, all paid for by crypto," Warren said.
Warren's calls for tighter controls come as the US battles an opioid crisis, with overdose fatalities notching a new record in 2022, according to the Center for Disease Control. Fentanyl — a synthetic opioid that's up to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 50 times more powerful than heroin — is suspected to have been involved in most of those, accounting for most of the drug overdose deaths in 2021.
Warren, a long-time critic of the crypto industry, has also pushed for more regulation for digital currencies as their role in criminal activity becomes more clear. Illicit crypto transaction volumes hit a new record of $20.1 billion last year according to the blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis.
- Lionel Messi wants to extend Argentina career and play in 2024 Copa America
- The 10 largest and most magnificent Hindu god statues worldwide
- Red flags for Indian equities emerge after crude oil jumps 30% since June this year
- Motorola Edge 40 Neo vs iQOO Z7 Pro – The phone to consider under ₹25,000
- Jasnil Kumar who works in a garment store becomes KBC 15's second crorepati