The crypto industry was given a warning in July of last year when U.S. President Donald Trump professed his disdain for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in a tweet thread, which was closely followed by comments from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who declared the lack of regulations surrounding crypto a matter of “national security.”
Immediately following these comments, there weren’t any overt actions taken by government authorities or regulators to crack down on the nascent markets, but that appears to be rapidly changing.
Now, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is looking to curb the number of companies illicitly using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through a newly established task force.
U.S. DHS enters the crypto markets, looks to crack down on unlicensed money services businesses
In the DHS’s recently released 2021 fiscal budget, the agency details a recently formed a task force called the Cryptocurrency Intelligence Program (CIP), which was constructed with the goal of identifying unlicensed money services business.
Specifically, the DHS points to cryptocurrency brokers who may be using peer-to-peer sites to conduct transactions, as well as darknet markets that are engaged in money laundering operations through the use of Bitcoin and other cryptos.
“The BCSC has developed a Cryptocurrency Intelligence Program (CIP) which identifies unlicensed money services businesses in the form of independent cryptocurrency brokers’ use of peer-to-peer (P2P) sites, online forums and classified advertisements, and darknet markets (DNM) to engage in unlicensed money services businesses (MSB) activity.”
The report further goes on to note that the majority of this money laundering is being done in order to clean the proceeds from narcotics.
DHS isn’t the only law enforcement agency foraying into the nascent markets
As previously reported by CryptoSlate,