Experts Call for Crypto Regulation as Ransomware Attacks Are On the Rise

A panel of experts calls for aggressive tracking of Bitcoin and other cryptos in the light of growing ransomware attacks. Ransomware gangs collected about $350 million last year, more than 3x of 2019.

“There’s a lot more that can be done to constrain the abuse of these pretty amazing technologies,” said Philip Reiner, chief executive of the Institute for Security and Technology, who led the Ransomware Task Force.

The new rules proposed are aimed at the anonymity of crypto transactions, Reuters reported a source as saying. It will recommend steps like extending KYC regulations to crypto exchanges, money laundering rules to facilities converting currency, and tougher licensing requirements for those processing cryptocurrencies.

“That would be huge,” said an anonymous senior Homeland Security Official.

“This is a world that was created exactly to be anonymous, but at some point, you have to give up something to make sure everyone’s safe.”

Last year, the U.S. Marshals Service seized over $150 million in crypto-assets and offered them to the public at auction.

Amidst this, the House has passed a bill that will provide clarity to crypto asset regulation in the country.

The bill passed by the US House of Representatives last week is H.R. 1602, “Eliminate Barriers to Innovation Act of 2021,” which has now been sent to the Senate. If passed and signed into law, this will provide much-needed clarification to the industry. It would commission a working group to evaluate how the US currently treats crypto assets.

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