Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Congressman representing Missouri’s fifth District recently said that “the crypto industry need to step their game up.” The statement was made on his Twitter handle proceeding the news that Bitcoin [BTC] was used to pay for servers to tamper the U.S Presidential elections of 2016.
Emanuel Cleaver says:
“I’ve been warning of the potential dangers of Bitcoin being used by nefarious actors. Now, we know Russia used cryptocurrency to fund their meddling campaign in 2016. The crypto industry needs to step their game up.”
The statement was followed by the announcement that 12 Russians intelligent officers [GRU] were indicted for conspiring to interfere in the 2016 Presidential elections.
Robert Rosentian, the Deputy US Attorney General said that 11 others felons were charged for conspiring to hack the computers to steal documents and release them with the purpose of interfering with the elections. The GRU used a scheme known as the spear phishing which involved sending misleading email messages and trick the users to disclose their passwords and security information.
The defendants hacked computer networks to install malicious software which enabled them to spy on users, take screenshots and remove data from devices. They had access to the email accounts of volunteers and employees of the US Presidential campaign, including the campaign chairman. Furthermore, the congressional campaign committee and a national political committee’s computers networks were also hacked.
The defendants transferred the stolen documents to another organization. However, it remains unidentified by name in the indictment. The organization to which it was transferred was used as a pass through to release the documents in an attempt to enhance the impact on the election.
The defendants used a network of computers around the world in order to conceal their connections to Russia and the payment for the same was done through cryptocurrencies. Later, Robert Rosentian said that the 11 defendants were charged with money laundering for transferring cryptocurrencies through a web of transactions in order to purchase computer servers, registered domains and make other payments to further their hacking activities.
The Congressman faced huge backlash on social media for making this statement. Majority of the people of the crypto-space, including influencers, have urged that the statement is baseless and that he has no knowledge of Bitcoin.
Phil, a Bitcoin enthusiast says:
“You better educate yourself… Bitcoin is the most transparent and auditable ledger in the world of money, every transaction is traceable. The USD on the other hand is completely anonymous and used by nefarious actors worldwide”
Crypto Randy Marsh, a Twitterati says:
“This guy is a total noob and epitomizes the entire government’s ineptness. Everything leaves a trace on the blockchain, unlike that printed currency everyone uses to buy drugs and guns. Oh, and let’s not forget a large % of terrorist weapons are US military.”
Rick Schlesinger, the co-founder of EOS New York says:
“Do you plan to warn of the dangers of the US Dollar in its involvement in the cartel’s drug trade, human trafficking, and backroom political deals? What sort of thinking went into your critique of Bitcoin when crimes are committed daily with the use of the greenback?”
He further adds:
“To add on, you should be thanking cryptocurrency and Bitcoin for being able to identify these crimes. Bitcoin is at least traceable by wallet accounts whereas cash is untraceable. I’m surprised you’re not understanding this”