As more and more firms continue to gradually embrace Blockchain technology, there is caution over criminal practices by some malicious actors in the space.
The U.S Department of Justice and attorney general Bill Barr announced the public release of a “cryptocurrency enforcement framework.”
The framework is based on the work that has been done by the attorney general’s office through its Cyber-Digital Task Force. The taskforce’s job is to investigate “emerging threats and enforcement challenges associated with the increasing prevalence and use of cryptocurrency.”
Examining the document
In a three-part document that looks into blockchain and smart contracts, the DoJ seeks to curb crypto-related crimes. The 83-page document extensively covers the applications of blockchain and crypto-currencies ranging from smart contracts, initial coin offerings, and crypto-wallets.
The report also highlights some of the risks that have been associated with crypto that have to do with fraud. Financial transaction crimes, money laundering, false tax reporting, and direct crimes like theft were all prominently highlighted. It also said that crypto’s can be linked to organized criminal outfits seeking to defraud the average crypto user.
According to the report;
“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.”
The report concludes by addressing the present and future challenges to regulators that crypto crime presents. Other than being a potential nightmare by helping aid criminals and terrorist organizations, crypto’s can aid in investigations. The same way they can be used to defraud and fund dangerous activity, they can be used to track these devious elements and help bring them to book.
“Given their potential to facilitate criminal activity, these entities have a heightened responsibility to safeguard their platforms and businesses from exploitation by nefarious actors and to ensure that customer data is protected and secured.”
Crypto Casinos and ATMs are legitimate
The report goes to endorse crypto casinos and ATMs terming them as “legitimate businesses”, which will please a lot of actors in the space. It acknowledges though that these two outlets are often used by criminals for nefarious reasons.
Task Force member Brian Rabbitt recommended that such malicious activity be curbed by ensuring all crypto outlets operate within set legal regimes.
“Cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology present tremendous promise for the future, but it is critical that these important innovations follow the law. The Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework provides the public with important information intended to help them understand and comply with their obligations under the legal regimes that govern these new and fast-developing technologies.”
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