William P. Barr, the U.S. Attorney General for the Trump administration, published official guidelines for cryptocurrency enforcement in a press statement from the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday, October 8. The guidance was released under a report entitled Cryptocurrency: An Enforcement Framework, backed by the Attorney General's own Cyber-Digital Task Force, founded in February 2018 with the goal of detecting, deterring, and disrupting cyber threats. The guidance discusses the relationship between the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), among other departments, to enforce federal law in the cryptocurrency space. The framework concludes with a discussion of the ongoing challenges the government faces in cryptocurrency enforcement—particularly with respect to foreign influence operations and business models employed by certain cryptocurrency exchanges, kiosks, and casinos that use strategies of "mixing", "chain hopping" and "tumbling" to mask the original source of the funds and facilitate money laundering and other dark web activity. The task force is focused primarily on making it easier for law enforcement to follow money trails during investigations. For example, many cyber criminals will use digital currencies like Monero (XMR) to try to hide their true identities when acquiring malware, data, infrastructure, and ransom payments. “Cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology present tremendous promise for the future, but it is critical that these innovations follow the law," says the report.

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