If there’s one thing the government does best, it’s regulation.
In order to gain a sense of control over burgeoning digital currency, Biden’s Department of Justice unveiled new initiatives to crack down on the unregulated nature of cryptocurrency.
U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco issued a statement Wednesday announcing the new measures, which include the creation of a National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, to “strengthen” the DOJ’s ability to control cryptocurrency markets, Reuters reported.
Monaco argued that regulation is needed in order to prevent cybercriminals from using cryptocurrency as a loophole to avoid the U.S. monetary system.
“Today we are launching the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team to draw on the Department’s cyber and money laundering expertise to strengthen our capacity to dismantle the financial entities that enable criminal actors to flourish — and quite frankly to profit — from abusing cryptocurrency platforms,” said Monaco.
The deputy attorney general justified the DOJ’s latest move as a way to change with the times as digital currency becomes more widely used.
“As the technology advances, so too must the Department evolve with it so that we’re poised to root out abuse on these platforms and ensure user confidence in these systems,” she added.
The select members of the NCET will be asked “to identify, investigate, support, and pursue cases against cryptocurrency exchanges, infrastructure providers, and other entities that are enabling the misuse of cryptocurrency and related products to commit or facilitate criminal activity.”
However, the team’s biggest focus will be to crack down specifically on cryptocurrency’s use as a “primary demand mechanism for ransomware payments” and “money laundering.”
This comes within months of a series of ransomware attacks on companies in major U.S. industries including the Colonial Pipeline, which provides oil to the East Coast, and JBS, one of the biggest meat suppliers to the U.S. JBS ended up paying $11 million to hackers.
In the midst of this, Joe Biden showed how weak the U.S. government is against ransomware attacks enabled by cryptocurrency when he begged hackers not to attack our major industries. He even made a public list of critical industries that were off-limits.
Now, the DOJ has produced its first attempt at placing limits on cryptocurrency, but because no one “controls” it, per say, the government could find it extremely difficult to regulate.