The U.S. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has 130 cryptocurrency related cases open, said one of its agents during the digital-asset industry conference held in New York.
“Cryptocurrencies” are appearing in human trafficking, illicit drug sales, kidnapping, and ransomware attacks cases, said Kyle Armstrong, a supervisory special agent. The Bureau has “noticed an increase in illegal activity facilitated by digital-currency payments”, he added.
Почему это важно
- The blockchain being a base of every cryptocurrency is helping authorities to trace digital money much easier than if they were normal fiat currencies.
- Cryptocurrencies which feature a high level of anonymity and privacy of transactions are usually used to conduct deals on “darknet” - a computer network with restricted access that is used mainly for illegal peer-to-peer file sharing.
Three years ago, the FBI especially had launched a virtual-currency initiative under the Armstrong command, and now they can say that drug trafficking has risen due to the “dark web”, where every 10th illegal drug deal is made. The Bureau also records extortion schemes related to cryptocurrencies have increased on the Mexican border.
Earlier today, Neil Walsh, the Head of the Cyber Crime Unit of United Nations also underlined the increase of the cyber threats that emerged due to the spread of blockchain technology. In his speech, he sent a strong message to cyber-criminals:
"Criminals think that they are anonymous. No … they’re not anonymous. We will track you down, and we will bring you to justice. At least, law enforcement will bring you to justice."
On Tuesday, it became known that the first nationwide undercover operation to detain traffickers of the arms and drugs in the darknet was held in the United States. The operation involved the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Special agents seized about 2,000 bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies worth $22 million from the vendors of the darknet.
Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services proposed a bill carrying out a study on how virtual currencies and online marketplaces are used in sex and drugs trafficking.
By Nadya Astam