US Department of Justice publishes ‘Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework’

  • 08 October 2020, Thursday, 14:06

US Department of Justice’s Attorney General William P. Barr announced today the release of “Cryptocurrency: An Enforcement Framework,” a publication that outlines the “emerging threats” and enforcement challenges associated with the “increasing prevalence” and use of cryptocurrency.

Attorney General William P. Barr said that the 83-page-long report, which was produced by the DoJ’s Cyber-Digital Task Force, was a “first-of-its-kind” framework that would clarify federal enforcement priorities in the crypto ecosystem.

The Enforcement Framework described how criminals used cryptocurrency to evade detection by trading on the dark web. The report further detailed how cybercriminals behind ransomware attacks often used crypto to hide their identities when receiving ransom payments.

The Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework also explained that the US authorities would adapt their strategy and tools to 21st-century financing including to “combat the use of cryptocurrencies to evade enforcement and harm our national security.”

More importantly, he noted that cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology presented “tremendous promise for the future.” However, he added that it was “critical” for crypto entities to “follow the law.” Task Force member Brian C. Rabbitt said in a statement:

The Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework provides the public with important information intended to help them understand and comply with their obligations under the legal regimes that govern these new and fast-developing technologies.

The publication is divided into three parts with each section addressing threat overview, various legal and regulatory tools and ongoing challenges the U.S government has been facing in cryptocurrency enforcement.