The Department of Justice (DOJ) has unveiled its new 80+ page plan to combat illegal cryptocurrency activities such as terrorist funding, money laundering and outright theft.
Department of Justice: We Will Stop Crypto Crime Once and For All
The crypto scene has come a long way in the last ten years. Unfortunately, it is still marred, to a certain degree, by a lack of regulation. Many times, criminal activity either goes unnoticed or slips through the cracks of even some of the largest trading platforms in the world (i.e. Mt. Gox and Coincheck), and the Department of Justice is looking to make issues like these a thing of the past.
Attorney General William Barr released the report just last Thursday. The department has laid out the framework for attacking cryptocurrency-related crime and linking illicit transactions to criminal organizations. The official report from the department explains:
They can avoid large cash transactions and mitigate the risk of bank accounts being traced, or of banks notifying governments of suspicious activity. Criminals have used cryptocurrency, often in large amounts and transferred across international borders, as a new means to fund criminal conduct ranging from child exploitation to terrorist fundraising. Cryptocurrency also has been used to pay for illegal drugs, firearms, and tools to commit cybercrimes, as well as to facilitate sophisticated ransomware and blackmail schemes.
Two of the crypto world’s biggest examples of crime to occur lately include a bitcoin Twitter hack and the theft of KuCoin, which has lost more than $150 million in digital funds at press time. While the Twitter event didn’t result in losses anywhere near this large, the situation is widely considered one of the most significant crimes within the digital finance arena considering it involved several high-profile accounts being overtaken, including those of former President Barack Obama, his vice president Joe Biden, Microsoft mogul Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.
Twitter has since commented that it would be revamping its security measures to ensure situations like these never arise again in the future.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t look like regulators and the Department of Justice are willing to take any chances. In the report, one of the largest examples of crypto crime is the utilization of bitcoin and digital currency to fund ISIS, a terrorist organization that first arose during the Obama years.
Another section of the report discusses the kinds of tools the department plans to use to combat wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering and transaction tampering. Some of the actions may include seizing all addresses involved in the activity and even shutting down the domains of the exchanges that receive funds.
This Has to Stop for Digital Finance to Flourish
Brian Rabbitt – a member of a special task force designed to combat crypto crime – stated:
Cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology present tremendous promise for the future, but it is critical that these important innovations follow the law.