In an attempt to counter malpractices and criminal misuse of cryptocurrencies, the US Department of Justice has announced the establishment of the ‘National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET)’ on Wednesday.
In particular, the team will focus on strengthening the country’s response to crimes “committed by virtual currency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, and money laundering infrastructure actors”.
Additionally, the team will assist in countermeasures of ransomware attacks, including tracing and recovery of assets.
NCET (National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team) will promote the development of cryptocurrency and blockchain expertise in the Ministry of Justice. It will also support regional, state, US, and international law enforcement agencies with these new technologies.
As per the press release, the team will be supervised by assistant attorney general Kenneth Polite Jr. and will include anti-money laundering and cybersecurity experts from Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS), Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS), and other sections of the division.
At the Aspen Institute Cyber Summit on Wednesday, Lisa Monaco, deputy attorney general, said:
“We have been enforcing securities laws for decades and the point is to protect consumers. The same has got to be true as technology advances so we need to evolve with it. We need to make sure that we can adjust at the speed of the threat in terms of what we’re doing.”
The damage caused by ransomware attacks has increased sharply this year, including Colonial Pipeline, which operates the largest oil pipeline in the United States. In response to this situation, the Biden administration has announced several measures to strengthen the analysis and investigation of virtual currency transactions.