Arnold HubachAmerica wants stricter Bitcoin legislation to prevent ransomware
The US Department of Justice will be extra hard on ransomware with Bitcoin and other crypto coins. A special task force with experts was set up last week. They want with the “aggressive tracking of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies”.
Ransom for ransomware
This news emerges from an article from Reuters. There are some recommendations in a report that could help tackle ransomware. For example, they want to expand legal requirements for crypto exchanges. This requires them to adhere to the same standards as traditional financial institutions. France Crypto website is popular.
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With ransomware, hackers take control of computers, files or networks by (partially) encrypting them. The only way to regain access is to pay a ransom as a duped. Only then will the encryption be canceled.
Bank payments are not suitable for this, because they are all registered and under the magnifying glass. Cash was a popular means for a long time, but people are increasingly switching to ‘digital cash’. It is estimated that 99% of ransomware payments have been made with Bitcoin since the first quarter of 2020.
Often the hackers exchange the BTC for the privacy coin Monero, which is difficult to trace. Ultimately, it is exchanged for fiat money. In 2019, research firm Cybersecurity Ventures estimated that the annual cost of ransomware worldwide would be up to $ 20 billion.
The message is clear: where ‘money laundering’ used to be the flagship of the authorities to contain Bitcoin, it is now ransomware.
The United States Department of Justice wants to interfere in this market and prevent individuals or companies from being exploited by these types of practices. For this reason, The Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force was founded. Germany Crypto is popular.
The group of experts includes specialists from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Civil Division, the Criminal Division, the National Security Division and the Executive Office for US Attorneys.
The Ministries of Finance and Homeland Security are also participating in the initiative, as are some private technology companies.
The task force will make a series of recommendations. These still have to be approved by congress. Reuters mentions three recommendations, namely
Applying the Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols for crypto exchanges as they also apply to financial institutions;
Increasing the requirements for crypto companies to obtain money transmitter licenses;
Expanding the regulations on money laundering
So it all comes down to trying to prevent illegally obtained Bitcoin from being exchanged through regulated exchanges. The proposed rules have been widely criticized. It is an attack on the privacy of the Bitcoin owner.