A secretariat official said the U.S. government will take a more active role in enforcement actions against those who use cryptocurrencies to launder money and other cyber criminals.
Speaking at the Aspen Institute Cyber Summit on Oct. 6, Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco said the Justice Department had set up a National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Group, an initiative to monitor platforms that “help criminals get the proceeds of crime to wash or hide ”. Monaco cited their office’s work against the darknet-based Bitcoin (BTC) mixing service in August, but said the U.S. government should do more.
“We want to strengthen our ability to disrupt the financial ecosystem that allows these criminals to thrive and, honestly, benefit from what they do,” Monaco said. “We will do this by bringing in cyber experts, cyber prosecutors and money laundering experts.”
“Cryptocurrency exchanges want to be the banks of the future. We need to make sure that people can trust them when using these systems and we need to make sure we can root out the abuse that can happen to them. “
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Monaco has often been a central figure in the US government’s response to ransomware and cyberattacks involving cryptocurrency payments. She was part of the task force to “find and reclaim” BTC worth millions of dollars paid to Russia-based hacker DarkSide after an attack on the Colonial Pipeline system in May.
The deputy attorney general also announced a civil cyber fraud initiative to prosecute government contractors who fail to report violations and fail to comply with security standards.