Working with strong international cooperation to regulate bitcoin (quotation BTC) and the cryptocurrency sector is the top recommendation offered by US Attorney General Merrick Garland to President Joe Biden.
Garland's message is part of the report prepared by the United States Department of Justice, released on June 6 in response to the executive order issued by the president.
In its message, the agency states the need for both US domestic organizations and foreign crime prevention agencies to work in a coordinated way to properly regulate the ecosystem.
The document also highlights the issue of cryptocurrency-related crime given their increasing adoption.
For this reason, the Attorney General considers it essential to share more information with foreign law enforcement agencies. Better collaboration will help "avoid duplication of effort that wastes investigative resources," advises President Biden.
As stated in the Executive Order, the increasing use of digital assets in the global financial sector has profound implications for investors, consumers and businesses and increases the risk of crimes such as money laundering, ransomware, terrorist financing, fraud and theft and evasion of sanctions - Merrick Garland, United States Attorney General. THE DOCUMENT ADDS THAT THE UNITED STATES
The document adds that the Department of Justice has already begun collaborating with the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Homeland Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Efforts are now directed at determining how best to strengthen international law enforcement cooperation. The idea is to expand operational capacity and fill regulatory gaps between different jurisdictions.
International Cooperation: A Strategy to Fight Cryptocurrency Crime
According to the report, international cooperation is an important strategy to be able to "overcome the obstacles that the characteristics of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies pose to the efforts of law enforcement agencies and to combat their misuse".
For the Prosecutor and the Department of Justice, an international strategy is essential to "detect, investigate, prosecute and otherwise stop criminal activities involving digital assets."
He explains, in this regard, that crimes facilitated by the use of cryptoassets are much more difficult to prosecute than those made with paper currency.
“Criminal actors exploit the characteristics of innovation, decentralization and anonymity of cryptocurrencies to facilitate criminal conduct in every corner of the world,” they observe.
Many crimes (including money laundering, ransomware use, terrorist financing and sanction evasion) can be committed much faster because they don't go through traditional financial intermediaries, which have rules for reporting suspicious transactions. - Department of Justice report.
Despite this, the advantages of blockchain platforms are highlighted. This is because the transactions are "permanently recorded in publicly distributed ledger books available on the Internet."
This creates more opportunities for law enforcement to "follow money in ways that are not possible with traditional financial systems," the report reads.
The Justice Department report represents one of the first responses by US agencies to the President's request.
Through the executive order, Biden last March asked the country's federal agencies to assess the risks and opportunities cryptocurrencies represent to US national security and their impact on the national economy.