The U.S. government is taking a more proactive role in enforcing laws against actors who use cryptocurrencies for money laundering and other cybercrime, an official in the attorney general’s office said.
Speaking at the Aspen Institute Cyber Summit in Oct., Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the judiciary has launched the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, which aims to be a platform that “helps criminals to smuggle or hide their criminal income.” Monaco in August cited its office work against the Darknet-based Bitcoin (BTC) mixing service Helix, but said the US government should do more.
“We want to strengthen our ability to break the financial ecosystem that enables these criminal actors to improve and – to be honest – to benefit from what they are doing,” Monaco said. “We are going to go to our cyber experts and cyber prosecutors and money laundering experts to do this.”
“Cryptocurrency Exchange wants to be the bank of the future. We need to make sure that people have confidence when they are using these systems and we need to make sure that we are ready to root out abuses that can hold them back.
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Monaco has often been a central figure in the US government’s response to large ransomware and cyber attacks involving cryptocurrency payments. He was part of a task force that “found and recovered” millions of dollars worth of BTC from Russia-based Darkside hackers after an attack on the colonial pipeline system in May.
The deputy attorney general also announced a civil cyber fraud initiative aimed at prosecuting government contractors who fail to report violations and adhere to security standards.