Amid the supervisory special agency Kyle Armstrong statement that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sees cryptocurrencies in a neutral light, he mentioned at a conference that the agency currency has 130 open cases related to virtual currency.
Armstrong made his remarks at Wednesday’s Crypto Evolved conference in New York. The official said the cases are a “small sliver” in the FBI’s workload, which equates to thousands of cases.
However, he noted the agency has seen a rise in both cryptocurrency payments facilitating illegal activity and virtual currency extortion schemes on the southwestern boarder of the United States. Armstrong said some of the cases associated with digital currencies include crimes like human trafficking, illegal drug sales, kidnapping, and ransomware attacks.
Armstrong remarked at the conference how blockchain’s distributed ledger technology means agents have an easier time tracking digital currency than fiat money, but said the anonymous nature of some transactions can be a big hindrance to investigations.
Cryptocurrency & Criminality?
A top official in the Secret Service asked Congress to take action against anonymous cryptocurrencies, alleging that they’re primarily used by malicious actors.
The debate about cryptocurrencies and their connection to crime across the world continues as virtual coins get more and more popular.
In fact, a new measure recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives empowers the Comptroller General to examine how cryptocurrencies facilitate sex trafficking and illegal drug sales.
The authors of the bill note that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in their 2017 National Drug Assessment report how the opioid crisis is being fueled by illicit online marketplaces and digital currencies.