The US Department of Homeland Security recently unveiled its budget summary for the fiscal year 2021. In the document, the DHS talks about the establishment of a Cryptocurrency Intelligence Program. This program will track down unlicensed crypto businesses that might be enabling money laundering internationally and in the US.
Details of the Document
According to the document, the DHS will target unlicensed businesses that operate on P2P sites and the darknet. According to the DHS, this will offer better insight into areas that pose serious challenges to law enforcement efforts.
The DHS is going to identify unlicensed money services such as independent crypto brokers that use P2P sites, online forums where they are classified as ads and the darknet. The aim is to ensure that no longer continue to offer unlicensed money services.
The Cryptocurrency Intelligence Program was created by the Bulk Cash Smuggling Center. This investigative bureau hunts down illegal funds globally. The CIP is going to track down illegal funds from the sale of narcotics, which make up a huge chunk of illegal financial activity.
ICE created the Bulk Cash Smuggling Center under the supervision of the DHS. In the past few years, the bureau has turned more of its focus to P2P sites and crypto transactions. According to a report released by ICE in 2017, cryptocurrencies were becoming the preferred payment option for the darknet. It noted that it was common for unlicensed P2P operators to obtain their crypto from the sale of illegal services and goods on the darknet. The report noted that to avoid complying with the law, the P2P operators become crypto exchangers to liquidate their crypto haul.
Part of Fight against Opioid Crisis
The section that mentions the Cryptocurrency Intelligence Program is on a section labeled as Key Issue #1. This section is labeled as “the Opioid Crisis.” It shows that the agency is serious about stopping the funding for the opioid drug smuggling network that is considered a national crisis by the Trump administration.
While some of the drugs are still sold through traditional physical exchanges, the DHS acknowledged that some of the sales take place online. These purchases are done via online marketplaces, which make it easy to obtain the drugs in just a few clicks. As part of the effort to fight the opioid crisis, the DHS will employ cyber analytics and advanced training for its investigators looking into the darknet. The DHS will look into opioid smuggling abroad and within the US.
Clamping Down Hard on Crypto
The US Federal government has been quite tough on the crypto industry. President Trump has tweeted his dissatisfaction with the sector and said he is not a fan. Besides, he said that crypto was not real money.
Recently, the president proposed to having the Secret Service return to the Treasury Department in the fiscal year 2021 budget. This is part of an effort to ensure better policing of crypto-related criminal activity.
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