As it intensifies efforts to combat illicit activities in the crypto space, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has set its sights on the world of Decentralized Finance (DeFi).
With a sharp rise in illegal crypto operations over the past four years, the DOJ’s crypto task force has honed in on DeFi hackers and exploiters, aiming to curb their nefarious activities.
According to a recent report in the Financial Times, Eun Young Choi, the director of the Justice Department’s National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET), emphasized the department’s focus on thefts and hacks within the realm of DeFi, specifically highlighting concerns surrounding “chain bridges.”
DOJ Takes Steps To Tackle Crypto-Related Crimes Via NCET
Choi, a seasoned prosecutor with close to a decade of experience at the agency, was chosen to lead the NCET in February 2022. The NCET is designed to serve as a central point for the DOJ in combating cryptocurrency-related crimes, as well as tackling cybercrime and money laundering.
Justice Department Announces First Director of National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Teamhttps://t.co/PvJ6iRDQ8P
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) February 17, 2022
According to the FT report, the DOJ is particularly focused on the issue of DeFi-related thefts and hacks, especially chain bridges. Choi stressed the significance of this issue, especially considering the emergence of North Korean state-sponsored hackers as key players in this space.
The DOJ’s efforts to crack down on illicit activities in the crypto world underscores the need for regulators to take a proactive approach to safeguarding the financial system against threats from cybercriminals and other bad entities.
NCET Takes Aim At Crypto Mixers To Combat Money Laundering
The NCET’s mission to combat cryptocurrency-related crimes includes targeting crypto mixers and tumblers, which have been a thorn in the side of authorities due to their ability to obfuscate the tracing of funds.
These services have been used by criminals to launder money, making it difficult for authorities to track the source and destination of illicit transactions. The DOJ has taken related actions in the past to curb the use of these services by cyber criminals.
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Choi emphasized that the actions of these criminals not only hinder law enforcement’s ability to track down illegal activities but also provide an avenue for other criminal actors to cash out their gains.
She further explained that by focusing on these types of platforms, the DOJ hopes to have a multiplier effect, targeting the facilitators of criminal activity to disrupt the larger criminal network.
With the NCET’s dedicated attention towards crypto-related offenses, the agency is actively implementing measures to counter unlawful practices within the realm of cryptocurrencies, specifically targeting money laundering techniques intertwined with digital assets.
-Featured image from National Law Review