Law enforcement Feb 28, 2020

Homeland Security Develops Tool Against Illegal Bitcoin Transactions

US federal agencies increase efforts towards the fight against illicit…

American security agencies have always been a yard ahead in their pursuit to ensure the safety of their esteemed citizens. On this same note, the Department of Homeland Security has just recently come up with an ingenious way to pinpoint and crackdown crypto businesses on the dark web and other peer-to-peer sites that operate illegaly.

A statement from the department officials on the same declares that they have chosen to do this to facilitate more transparent and more focused surveillance on facets of the underworld internet that may pose a significant challenge.  

As a notable mention in the budget brief of 2021, the American agency made a statement last week revealing that the Cryptocurrency Intelligence Program (CIP), is a crypto-centric project engineered to monitor crypto businesses operating without valid licenses. This tool could potentially aid in uncovering mega fraud and money laundering schemes disguised as honest businesses on the dark web.

The CIP singles out unlicensed money service businesses that operate as cryptocurrency brokerage agents that use various mediums and platforms to conduct unlicensed money service activities. The tool that was developed by the Bulk Cash Smuggling Centre (BCSC) will narrow down on drug bust operations, which make up the bulk of unlicensed darknet activity.

The BCSC is an investigative bureau that specializes in tracking down large sums of illegal and suspicious funds. The bureau was established in 2009 by the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), following a recommendation from DHS. In the recent past, the focus has been centered on cryptocurrencies and peer-to-peer platforms.  

Due to the allure of their anonymity, virtual currencies like bitcoin are often the go-to choice for illicit transactions on the dark web. As a way of concealing the full information about their transaction, traders involved in illicit activities use P2P exchangers in order to cash in on their virtual currency.

American vigilant efforts to curb suspicious crypto activity are in line with President Donald Trump’s stance of the matter, given that he has, on multiple occasions, openly spoken about the need for more stringent surveillance measures concerning cryptocurrencies and other forms of virtual money.

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