U.S. Congress commissions study of crypto use in sex and drug trafficking

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill to commission research into how cryptocurrencies and online marketplaces may facilitate sex or drug trafficking, the bill's sponsor Juan Vargas announced in a press release.

The Fight Illicit Networks and Detect (FIND) Trafficking Act of 2019 (H.R. 502) was passed 412-3. The bill calls for the U.S. Comptroller General to conduct the study and propose regulatory and legislative actions to fight against illicit use of cryptocurrencies and online marketplaces.


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“This bill is a critical first step for Congress to better understand the full extent of how virtual currencies are being used to facilitate drug and sex trafficking,” said Vargas. “H.R. 502 will equip us with the information needed to make our communities safer by proposing effective legislative solutions to combat these illicit crimes. I look forward to seeing the same level of support for this legislation in the Senate.”

Due to their anonymity, cryptocurrencies are believed to be a favoured payment method for both illegal sex and drug trafficking, where transactions have largely moved to online marketplaces and the dark web. The commissioned study will aim to understand “the true scope of the problem and potential solutions.”