The FBI has established a new unit – the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) to combat illicit abuse of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The NCET will focus on digital asset seizure and blockchain-based lawbreaking.
The new unit will be headed by Eun Young Choi, a former senior counsel to the Deputy Attorney General. Choi, the director of the NCET, said the new unit will play a pivotal role to accelerate and expand its efforts to combat illicit abuse by criminals of all kinds. The NCET will probe cases involving the criminal use of digital assets, especially crypto exchanges and infrastructure companies. It could bring oversight to the space.
Heson Orser, president of Komainu, highlighted that there is indeed a need for very powerful cybersecurity. With NCET in the space, Orser believes there will be more traditional financial institutions coming into the ecosystem. But it cannot be done through self-custody, thus the traditional institutions are looking for regulated instances. Orser underlined that regulatory scrutiny is welcomed by traditional financial players looking to enter the digital assets space.
He stated that while assets and transactions in crypto are traceable on the blockchain, it’s more challenging to identify who owns the wallet. The publicly viewable wallets have to eventually come up with a way to intersect with NCET-legitimate exchanges and payment mechanisms.
Lisa Monaco, a deputy attorney general at Munich Cyber Security Conference, said they are also giving a clear warning to criminals who use cryptocurrency to fund their schemes. The agency calls on companies dealing with cryptocurrency to help root out crypto abuses. Scrutiny falls on those who decline to help. Experts believe that crypto professionals now need to be mindful of their dealings with law enforcement and policymakers.