DOJ’s First-of-its Kind Crypto Framework Targets Decentralized, P2P Platforms & Privacy


A 71-page long “Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework” report has been published by the Attorney General’s Cyber Digital Task Force. It details the emergence of cryptocurrencies and the presenting opportunities for terrorists, rogue nations, and other criminals.

The report is described as “a cohesive, first-of-its-kind framework for those seeking to understand federal enforcement priorities in this growing space,” said Attorney General William Barr.

According to him, the US has been “enormously successful “ in blocking the criminals from using traditional currencies, and now wants to

“adapt our strategy and tools to 21st century financing, including to combat the use of cryptocurrencies to evade enforcement and harm our national security.”

The Attorney General recognizes the “tremendous promise” of cryptos and blockchain technology for the future, supporting the advancement of legitimate crypto uses and tech, but says it is “critical” that they follow the law as well.

Aiming for Privacy

The Framework divides the illicit use of crypto into three categories — financial transactions related to commissions of crimes, money laundering and covering legitimate activity from tax, and crimes like theft that directly implicates the crypto marketplace itself.

For this, DOJ, SEC, and CFTC are working together to explore legal and regulatory tools to address the threats and enforce federal law in the crypto space.

The report also points out the challenges the government is facing has been in respect to business models like kiosks, certain crypto exchanges, and casinos; and activities like “mixing” and “tumbling,” and “chain hopping,” which they say may facilitate criminal activity.

“Decentralized platforms, peer-to-peer exchangers, and anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies that use non-public or private blockchains all can further obscure financial transactions from legitimate scrutiny.”

According to the regulators, Web 3.0 in itself has a vision of — “humans will reclaim the internet, their data, and their anonymity from large outside forces” — can pose dangerous threats to public safety.

The agency is also fully aware of decentralized finance, which sees “exponential growth,” following the ICO boom.

The report came just days after deferral prosecutors went after crypto derivatives exchange BitMEX and its founders for preventing money laundering and arrested John McAfee over tax evasion charges and allegedly earning millions via crypto promotion.

The Department of Justice said in the report that it would “continue its aggressive investigation and prosecution of a wide range of malicious actors.” It further encouraged international cooperation in the investigations and making arrests.

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