Cryptocurrencies have become a hot topic in today’s society. In fact, the U.S. Secret Service has recently seized $102 million worth of cryptocurrency in a fraud investigation. Secret Service agents are using blockchain technology to trace the flow of cryptocurrency. They are also conducting cybercrime and financial investigations. While the crypto ecosystem has expanded significantly in recent years, institutions like the IMF are urging caution.
More than $102 million in cryptocurrency seized by Secret Service
The United States Secret Service has seized more than $102 million in cryptocurrency from suspected criminals and fraudsters. Since 2015, the agency has seized crypto assets from more than 250 cases. The agency uses a system that tracks the flow of digital assets on blockchain networks to identify illegal financial transactions. In 2015, it investigated 254 cases involving cryptocurrency.
The snatching of crypto is indicative of the agency’s stepped-up efforts to combat cybercrime. The USSS is best known for its role in protecting the president, but it also handles financial and cybersecurity investigations. As an example, a recent arrest involved over $10 million in cryptocurrency.
In the past year, the US Secret Service has seized more than $102 million in cryptocurrency. These seizures were made as part of investigations into fraud schemes, such as those involving crypto exchanges. Secret Service agents have been monitoring the flow of cryptocurrency on the blockchain to detect fraud and money laundering.
The Secret Service has tracked cryptocurrency transactions and linked them to various cybercrime syndicates. Some of these groups were Russians and North Koreans who were involved in money laundering and ransomware. The funds were then transferred from victims to crypto wallets controlled by the suspects.
The Romanian National Police has been investigating these cases as well. They found that the perpetrators targeted over 900 victims in the U.S. by posting fake ads on popular online auctions and sales websites. They used fake invoices from well-known companies to make transactions look legitimate. They then converted the victims’ funds into crypto assets and then sold them.
Cryptocurrencies are being tracked by the Secret Service
While there’s still plenty of misunderstanding about how cryptocurrencies work, one aspect that is becoming clearer is how they’re being tracked by the Secret Service. According to Secret Service officials, cryptocurrency wallets are similar to email addresses and have correlating identifiers, making them easier for the Secret Service to track through the blockchain. This has resulted in the agency seizing more than $102 million in cryptocurrency since 2015 as part of 254 fraud-related investigations.
Coinbase, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the United States, has a contract with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement that allows the agency to track cryptocurrency users. But the terms of the contract remain murky, and the details of the software are unclear. This has led some crypto enthusiasts to believe that Coinbase is selling its technology to the government, and they’re worried it might be used to track users.
Cryptocurrencies are also a target of congressional scrutiny. The government is worried that criminals are using these virtual currencies as an escape hatch. However, industry advocates say that Congress should tread carefully and not overreact to the new technology. A report from the Treasury Department warned against using cryptocurrencies for illicit purposes and as an escape mechanism.
A new team was recently formed in the Department of Justice to investigate criminal misuses of cryptocurrencies. The team’s focus will be strengthening international law enforcement cooperation in order to prevent the misuse of digital assets. It will be lead by the Department of Justice’s National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, and will also include input from the Department of State, Treasury, and Homeland Security.