The US attorney general has raised concern about criminal uses of cryptocurrency in a taskforce document outlining the problem.
The Attorney General’s Cyber-Digital Task Force has published Cryptocurrency: an enforcement framework to outline threats posed by criminal exploitation of cryptocurrency technology and outline ways to respond to the problem.
The report says cryptocurrency has been used to used to support terrorism, purchase illicit items, conduct blackmail and extortion, crypto jacking and launder funds.
It also calls on law enforcement agencies to develop crypto-currency threat knowledge among their workforce.
It said: “As the use of cryptocurrency evolves and expands, so too will opportunities to commit crime and to do harm by exploiting cryptocurrency technology.
“Every day, criminals expand and perfect techniques designed to evade detection and apprehension. Ultimately, illicit uses of cryptocurrency threaten not just public safety, but national security, as well.”
The report outlines several responses to the problem.
It says the DoJ will “continue its aggressive investigation and prosecution of a wide range of malicious actors, including those who use cryptocurrencies to commit, facilitate, or conceal their crimes”.
It said that law enforcement professionals must continually develop and maintain knowledge and skills necessary to identify threats and the DoJ is dedicating resources to encourage expertise in the cryptocurrency space. It also said it is working with federal, state, local and international partners to promote information-sharing.
The report also said it is fostering co-operating with State authorities and is calling for consistent regulations among jurisdictions.
The documents outlines three broad areas of illicit cryptocurrency use; engaging in financial transactions associated with the commission of crimes, such as buying and selling drugs or weapons on the dark web, leasing servers to commit cybercrimes, or soliciting funds to support terrorist activity; engaging in money laundering or shield otherwise legitimate activity from tax, reporting, or other legal requirements and committing crimes directly implicating the cryptocurrency marketplace itself, such as stealing cryptocurrency from exchanges through hacking or using the promise of cryptocurrency to defraud unwitting investors.