U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) cited the widespread use of cryptocurrency by Chinese drug dealers in a Senate Hearing on Wednesday, calling for legislation that would help stop this pipeline.

A prominent member of the Senate Banking Committee referenced data from Elliptic, which revealed that more than 90 Chinese companies offered to ship fentanyl precursors. Almost all of these businesses accepted crypto as payment.

In testimony before the panel, Elizabeth Rosenberg, assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department for terrorist financing, financial crimes and money laundering, said: “Unfortunately, this is a method that some of these illicit drug groups and precursor manufacturers have used. They receive bitcoin payments in wallets or cryptocurrency wallets.”

Rosenberg explained that the appeal of this scheme is similar to that of other financial criminals, namely that it offers a pseudonymous element.

Overdoses in the U.S. involving fentanyl are now the leading cause of death for people aged 18-45. The chemicals used to manufacture the dangerous drug often come from China and wind their way across multiple borders on their path to U.S. users of the synthetic opioid, which the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says is 100-fold more potent than heroin.

Warren said her Digital Asset Anti-Money Laundering Act could help stop crypto payments. She also stated that this bill would be reintroduced during the current Congress.

Warren stated, “Crypto helps fund the fentanyl traffic and we have the ability to shut this down.” “It’s time.”

Nikhilesh De.