The Federal Bereau of Investigation (FBI) reports that it is working on a big number of cruptocurrency-related cases observing the growth in illegal use of cryptocurrency.
According to Supervisory Special Agent Kyle Armstrong, the FBI “has 130 cases tied to cryptocurrencies”.
“The cases ‘threat tagged’ to virtual currencies encompass crimes such as human trafficking, illicit drug sales, kidnapping and ransomware attacks”, – Armstrong said at the Crypto Evolved conference in New York.
Armstrong is in charge of the FBI’s virtual currency initiative, which has been around for three years, Bloomberg notes.
Armstrong admits that his agency “takes a neutral view on digital tokens”, and “he noted some pros and cons”. “There are thousands of cases in the bereau, so it is a small sliver at this point,” he said.
The dark web enabled “a surge in drug abuse” which made the FBI concentrated on “the opioid epidemic” as the agency sees the situation. The agency has also “seen a significant rise in extortion schemes related to virtual currencies on the southern border of the U.S.”, he added.
To combat cryptocurrency crime and cybercrime in general, the FBI asked for more funds to improve the investigative technology . The budget request for Fiscal Year 2018 included “80 positions and $21.6 million”. “Some of our criminal investigators face the challenge of identifying online pedophiles who hide their crimes and identities behind layers of anonymizing technologies, or drug traffickers who use virtual currencies to obscure their transactions”, the agency claimed.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it has confiscated “nearly 2000 bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with an approximate value of more than $20 million”, in a nationwide undercover operation targeting dark net dealers.