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The Department of Justice (DOJ) released on October 2020 the publication of Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework, providing a comprehensive overview of all emerging threats and enforcement challenges related to the use of cryptocurrencies.

The report could serve to shape the future vision of authorities and regulators towards cryptocurrencies.

According to the Attorney General William P. Barr, "cryptocurrency is a technology that could fundamentally transform how human beings interact, and how we organize society.  Ensuring that use of this technology is safe, and does not imperil our public safety or our national security, is vitally important to America and its allies.”

The report itself is split into three sections: an overview of the cryptocurrency space and its current illicit uses; the laws and regulatory agencies that oversee the space; and the current challenges and potential strategies to address them.

In the first section, the Framework outlines three main categories into which most illicit uses of cryptocurrency typically fall:

(1) financial transactions associated with the commission of crimes;

(2) money laundering and the shielding of legitimate activity from tax, reporting, or other legal requirements; and

(3) crimes, such as theft, directly implicating the cryptocurrency marketplace itself. 

The second section explores the various legal and regulatory tools at the government’s disposal to confront the threats posed by cryptocurrency’s illicit uses, and highlights the strong and growing partnership between the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Commission, and agencies within the Department of the Treasury, among others, to enforce federal law in the cryptocurrency space.

The final part concludes with a discussion of the ongoing challenges the government faces in cryptocurrency enforcement—particularly with respect to business models (employed by certain cryptocurrency exchanges, platforms, kiosks, and casinos), and to activity (like “mixing” and “tumbling,” “chain hopping,” and certain instances of jurisdictional arbitrage) that may facilitate criminal activity.    

Source: The United States Department of Justice


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