The crypto landscape is heating up as the U.S. Department of Justice ramping up its efforts to counteract the risks posed to the American people by the illegal exploitation of digital assets.
On Friday, the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division announced the launch of its nationwide Digital Asset Coordinator (DAC) network.
More than 150 federal prosecutors have been tapped to work within the network, representing U.S. attorney’s offices and other litigating components of the Department of Justice.
The Department of Justice’s National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) will head up the initiative. Its goal is the prevention of crimes committed using crypto-related methods.
A Response To An Ever-Evolving Threat
It is anticipated that the DAC network will serve as the principal DOJ platform for the acquisition and dissemination of technical expertise, specialized training, and advice in the investigation and prosecution of offenses involving digital assets.
According to Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr., digital asset innovations have provided a new playground for criminals who “exploit innovation to further major criminal and national security dangers domestically and globally.”
To combat crimes involving money laundering, virtual currency exchanges, and mixing and tumbling services involving cryptocurrency, the DOJ formed the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team in October of last year.
Image: American Bar Association
Existing Laws Vs. New Breed Of Crypto Criminals
At such an early stage, the members of the newly created DAC Network will have their hands full learning how to apply existing laws and authorities to digital assets, a topic that continues to be a cause of aggravation for the justice departments of other countries.
They must also develop strategies for investigating crimes involving digital assets, including the creation of legally sound search and seizure warrants, restraining orders, indictments, and pleadings.
Decentralized finance (DeFi), smart contracts, token platforms, and their possible illicit uses are just some of the topics that the DAC Network wants to address.
“For too long, businesses have remained silent under the false idea that it is less hazardous to conceal a data breach than to bring it forward and report it. This is no longer the case,” stated U.S. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco in October.
In the same month, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. would convene 30 nations to combat cybercrime, including the “illicit usage of cryptocurrencies.”
Meanwhile, 150 U.S. prosecutors may not be a lot as crypto criminals also grow in number around the globe. The matchup should draw parallels from the fight between David and Goliath as depicted in the bible.