United States Attorney General (AG) William Barr says the recent publishing of the Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework will help law enforcement to fight elements using digital currencies for illicit ends. Produced by the AG's Cyber-Digital Task Force, the framework provides law enforcement with what Barr terms a "comprehensive overview of the emerging threats and enforcement challenges associated with the increasing prevalence and use of cryptocurrency."
The publishing of the framework comes as U.S. regulators have been ratcheting up pressure with Bitmex executives and John McAfee being the latest casualties of the new approach. Still, top U.S. officials including FBI director Christopher Wray pay homage to this revolutionary technology which they say is important and promising.
In his remarks, Wray indicates that the new enforcement framework is only aimed at individuals that facilitate illicit trade using cryptocurrencies.
"At the FBI, we see first-hand the dangers posed when criminals bend the important technological promise of cryptocurrency to illicit ends," says Wray. The director explains that employees at his agency have observed that "criminals (are now) using cryptocurrency to try to prevent us from following the money across a wide range of investigations."
Cryptocurrencies are preferred when settling transactions that involve illicit goods that are sold on the dark web. In addition, ransomware criminals also prefer being paid cryptocurrencies because they perceive this to be difficult to track and trace.