South Korea Assembles a New Crypto Task Force to Combat an Alarming Increase in Digital Theft
Crypto crimes are on the rise. Unfortunately, criminals from all over the world are using cryptocurrencies or just Bitcoin-related buzzwords in order to scam people. Now, the South Korean Supreme Prosecutor’s Office has recently announced that they decided to create a new task force which will fight crimes related to cryptos and fraud, as reported by the Korean Broadcasting System.
According to the reports of the local media outlet, the new task force will be responsible for investigating fraud and illegal transactions within the realms of crypto-related assets. It does not matter whether cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology are actually related or if the scammers only offer something that resembles cryptos and does not actually use them.
Crimes related to money laundering using cryptocurrencies will also be investigated by this new task force, as well as fraud crimes within fintech companies who use Initial Coin Offerings and similar digital crowdfunding techniques.
The Next Web’s Hard Fork, which also covered this story, has affirmed that people to join the task force are already reuniting in Seoul and that they will be able to track accounts of people who steal funds. The organization will also be able to share the information with other sectors of the government in order to recover funds, freeze accounts and pursue class action lawsuits.
Crypto Crimes Have Skyrocketed
Creating a special task force was a decision taken by the office as a response to the fact that the numbers of crimes related to this are getting very high at the moment. They are 800% more common now than in 2017.
Local media outlets have reported that only 53 cases were discovered in 2016 when cryptos were still not so famous. In 2017, the number went to 453 and, if this was not impressive (in a bad way) enough, now they have seen 4,591 crimes happening in 2018.
This is obviously not happening only in South Korea. Japan has also reported 7,000 money laundering cases involving cryptos last year, a number ten times higher than the one found in 2017. As cryptocurrencies are getting more common, so are the crimes involving them, unfortunately.
Cases like this are common all over the world. Only countries with very crypto penetration are mostly free from scammers, fraudsters, and people who use cryptos to launder money. Despite the increase, however, money laundering cases in the crypto world are still just a tiny fraction of the money laundered in commercial banks.
The future is now and we will surely see many task forces being created around the whole world in order to solve these problems before they start to diminish.