The U.S. Department of Justice Establishes a Crypto Enforcement Division

By Aleksandra Wilson
3 min read October 20, 2021

What Is the Purpose of the Crypto Enforcement Division?

The main goal of a Crypto Enforcement Division is to reinforce the ability of the Department of Justice to fight crimes related to crypto. On October 6th, the DOJ made the announcement about the new unit. The unit  will only focus on financial crime strictly involving crypto. 

The US Deputy Attorney General made the statement at the beginning of October at the Aspen Cyber Summit. Lisa Monaco said that the team would reinforce the DOJ’s ability to hinder financial markets that permit the flourishing of cybercriminals.

What Are the Targets?

It was also stated that the Department of Justice would set an initiative in motion to center on civil cyber fraud. On the same day, she announced that they were launching the national team of crypto enforcement. They have already started fighting the misuse of platforms dedicated to crypto, and they have shown excellent results. It was also stated that the Crypto Enforcement Division wouldn’t hesitate to hold  the platforms that help criminals to launder money in any way accountable. Another point they made clear: they’ll go after platforms assisting criminals to hide criminal proceeds. Crypto has become a crowded space, and new threats appear every day. 

Who Will Be Part of the Crypto Enforcement Division?

At the same summit, Monaco also stated that the team would include as many experts on cybersecurity as experts on anti-money laundering. That particular mix of expertise is made to ensure the protection of consumers for online related crime to finances. 

Since crypto exchanges are set to become the banks of the future, there’s a need to make sure that users can trust these platforms when using their services. Companies that receive federal funds will also be pursued if they don’t follow the recommended cybersecurity standards . 

A Case of Success for the DOJ

The US Department of Justice is chasing cybercriminals, particularly those dealing with cryptocurrency. The latest success story is the case of Larry Harmon, a man from Ohio who got convicted. He was running a Bitcoin mixer for years. Harmon was in charge of a tool that helped “blurring” the source of Bitcoin funds. He pleaded guilty to the charges of money laundering through the service he was in charge of. However, law enforcement wasn’t able to trace them.

Conclusion 

We’re currently experiencing new challenges when it comes to the crypto space, especially when we talk about cybersecurity and its regulations. Although there are still many aspects of it to be defined, one thing is for sure; when dealing with crypto, just like when dealing with fiat money, you should always be careful; scams are gradually becoming an everyday reality even in the virtual space.

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