DOJ’s Cryptocurrency Enforcement Network to attack criminal activities as reports of fraud and theft mount

A new U.S. Justice Department report is taking aim at the “emerging threats and enforcement challenges” associated with digital currencies, establishing a “Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework” to address the massive uptick of fraud, criminal activity and theft in the Cryptocurrency trading including BitCoin and cybercurrency platforms. The Department of Justice says that while cryptocurrency could fundamentally transform how human beings interact and how we organize society, “ensuring that use of this technology is safe and does not imperil our public safety or our national security is vitally important to America and its allies.

FBI Director Christopher Wray added that his agents have observed the dangers of cryptocurrency’s criminal usage firsthand, noting that a promising technology has sometimes been used to conduct illicit activities.

“We see criminals using cryptocurrency to try to prevent us from ‘following the money’ across a wide range of investigations, as well as to trade in illicit goods like criminal tools on the dark web,” Wray said.

The FBI chief cited the current use of cryptocurrency to demand ransom payments from businesses and individuals that have been the victims of ransomware and malware attacks as one of the ways that criminals are evolving their usage of an anonymous means of money.

Among the spiking issues concerning bitcoin and other tokens is the fact that unlike credit card transactions, cryptocurrency payments are immediately irreversible That’s what makes them appealing to scammers who are eager to avoid credit card chargebacks.

In the past month alone, PYMNTS’ Bitcoin Daily has reported on nearly a dozen different schemes involving bitcoin or other cybercurrencies.

Last week there were at least 74 crypto exchanges around the world have folded so far in 2020, often due to criminal charges or security breaches. For instance, a Singapore exchange faced a $200 million security breach.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers of major fraud that result in significant losses to investors which can result in SEC whistleblower claims. He can be reached at Jeffrey.Newman1@gmail.com