US Congress Set to Launch Study into the Use of Cryptocurrency for Sex Trafficking
While Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are regarded as forward-thinking innovations by many, bad actors, have found various illicit uses for virtual currencies, such as money laundering and drug and sex trafficking, giving critics a reason to call out the sector.
Sanitizing the Cryptocurrency Sector
On June 11, 2018, U.S Congressman Juan Vargas introduced a draft law titled the “Fight Illicit Network and Detect (FIND) Trafficking Act,” with a primary objective to “improve the efforts of Federal agencies to impede the use of virtual currencies and online marketplaces in facilitating sex and drug trafficking.”
Based on a majority approval by the parliament, the director of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) will launch a study to determine how bad actors make use of online marketplaces and cryptocurrencies to buy, sell, or facilitate illegal activities.
Cryptocurrencies and the Adult Industry
Reportedly, prostitution is a highly profitable sector, and the cryptocurrency industry has businesses like Vice Industry Tokens (VIT), LOVR, and Pornx which merge the two spaces. Interestingly, prostitution is a legal business in a vast array of countries including New Zealand, Australia, and Austria.
The US authorities have been working tirelessly round the clock for quite some time now to put an end to the issue of sex trafficking in women and children and to punish actors in the industry severely.
Notably, on April 11, 2018, President Donald Trump signed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) into law and later that month, BTCManager reported that US authorities had seized popular online classified website after employees of the site were found guilty by an Arizona grand jury for using the website for prostitution activities.
The shutting down of the site was only possible because the Communications Decency Act of 1999 that had previously protected websites such as Backpage.com, became invalid thanks to the FOSTA law.
Per The EpochTimes, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports the surge of child sex trafficking by a massive 846 percent from 2010 to 2015. “[Human trafficking] is worse today than at any other time in history,” said Trump while signing FOSTA into law.