US Launches National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team to Prosecute ‘Criminal Misuses of Cryptocurrency’

The U.S. Deputy Attorney general Lisa Monaco announced Wednesday the creation of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team.

The initiative’s purpose is to “to tackle complex investigations of criminal misuses of crypto, especially crimes committed by virtual currency exchangings, mixing and tumbling service actors and money laundering infrastructure actors,” according to the Department of Justice. The team will also help in the tracing of and recovering assets that have been lost due to fraud or extortion, as well as cryptocurrency payments to ransomware organizations.

Monaco was quoted saying:

Today, we launch the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team. We will not hesitate to pursue laundering platforms. We are bringing in cyber experts, prosecutors, as well as money laundering experts.

The National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Initiative aims to “strengthen” the Department of Justice’s ability to disarm financial markets that enable cybercriminals to flourish. This team will include cybersecurity and anti-money laundering experts.

Monaco stated:

The future banks will be cryptocurrency exchanges. We need to ensure that people can trust these systems, and to prevent abuse. Protecting consumers is the goal.

On Wednesday, the deputy attorney general announced another DOJ initiative. She explained that the new civil cyber fraud initiative will “use civil enforcement tools for companies, government contractors, and those who fail to comply with recommended cybersecurity standards,” she said. Companies have opted to remain silent for too long because they believe it is safer to report a breach and not hide it. This is changing today.

Last week, President Joe Biden stated that the U.S. would bring together 30 countries to combat cybercrime, including the illicit use of cryptocurrency.