Bill Wants to Analyze Cryptocurrency Use in Sex Trafficking

Bill Wants to Analyze Cryptocurrency Use in Sex Trafficking

Congress is slated to deliberate on a proposed legislation seeking to assess how cryptocurrency is utilized in sex trafficking.  

The US House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services is instituting several draft measures including Fight Illicit Networks and Detect (FIND) Trafficking Act which aims to study “how virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used to buy, sell, or facilitate the financing of goods or services associated with sex trafficking or drug trafficking, and for other purposes,” a memorandum stated. 

Other legislations submitted by the Financial Services Committee headed by Representative Jeb Hensarling are the following: Options Markets Stability Act, Building Up Independent Lives and Dreams Act (BUILD), Streamlining Communications for Investors Act, and Counter Terrorism and Illicit Finance Act.  

If enacted, the FIND would “improve the efforts of Federal agencies to impede the use of virtual currencies and online marketplaces in facilitating sex and drug trafficking.” 

The measure, penned by Representative Juan Vargas, would mandate the Comptroller General to submit the report to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the Committee on Financial Services a report surmising the outcome of the research and provide recommendations for legislative or regulatory action. 

The FIND would launch an evaluation into cryptocurrencies and their role in potentially enabling the efforts of sex traffickers. It will be conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). 

The repercussions of the study will be hugely dependent on the report set to be presented “one year after enactment” to the concerned House committee. 

This, after President Donald Trump signed in April the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA), which includes the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 (SESTA), giving law enforcers and victims more power to avert sex trafficking. 

“Human trafficking is a modern form of the oldest and most barbaric type of exploitation. It has no place in our world,” Trump had said. 

“FOSTA gives prosecutors the tools they need to ensure that no online business can ever approach the size of Backpage again,” Rep. Ann Wagner, primary sponsor of the bill, stated. 

This is not the first legislation introduced under the Trump administration aimed at illegal online sex trafficking.

In February, the lower chamber passed the FOSTA-SESTA bill that effectively banned websites or online forums from flashing advertisements promoting sex workers.

The use of cryptocurrencies is gaining ground among workers in the adult entertainment industry.

Many sex workers previously moved forward and disclosed they have started to rely on bitcoin not only as a transactional currency but to secure their finances in the future by incorporating it in their retirement plans.

Furthermore, firms including Vice Industry Tokens (VIT), which issues its own type of digital currency to lure porn viewers and actors and actresses, have been accelerating in nurturing partnerships with Playboy TV and HoloGirlsVR, the first entity to provide virtual reality adult content.

The newly minted FOSTA-SESTA, however, endangers the likes of VIT of its website features content or activities of its customers promote paid sex work in any form.

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