The United States National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) says combating criminal misuse of digital assets is a top priority to the country.
The Inaugural Director of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Ms Eun Choi, said this on Wednesday.
Choi, who spoke on the topic: “The Rise of Cybercrime and Cryptocurrency”, said law enforcement had to rely on the records of intermediaries in order to identify the true identity of those behind the addresses conducting those transactions.
She said digital assets were used in these crimes,” because many of the features of these technologies by design make them attractive for the purposes of criminal exploitation.”
Choi said that the growing use of digital assets in the global financial system had profound implications for investors, consumers, and businesses.
She also said, ”with the growth of adoption in digital assets, especially cryptocurrencies had resulting increase in the risk of crimes such as money laundering, cybercrime and terrorist financing, among others.”
Choi said digital assets fall under three categories which are the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment to facilitate criminal activity, cryptocurrency as a means of concealing illicit financial activity and Ponzi schemes.
“It is because many of the features of these technologies by design make them attractive for the purposes of criminal exploitation.
“We have been at the forefront of investigating crimes related to digital assets before the invention of Bitcoin, which is, of course, the first cryptocurrency,” the director added.
Choi, however, said that the DOJ created NCET to help identify, investigate, support and pursue investigations and prosecutions of criminal misuse of digital assets with a particular focus on crimes committed by exchanges.
“The NCET sets strategic priorities regarding digital asset technologies, identifies area for increased investigative and prosecutorial focus, as well as tackles issues arising from the application of existing law to novel uses of digital assets.
“It leads the department’s efforts to coordinate with domestic and international law enforcement partners, regulatory agencies, and private industry to combat the criminal use of digital assets.
“We also assist in training and recovering – in tracing and recovering digital assets, including cryptocurrency payments to ransomware groups.
“We build upon and strengthen the capacity of the department and its partners to dismantle the entities that enable criminal actors to flourish and profit from abusing digital assets,” she said.
The programme was organised by the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Press Centres in collaboration with Meridian International Centre.
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