Regulators continue to ramp up the pressure on cryptocurrency firms. On October 6, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the creation of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET). While the formation of a dedicated investigative crypto team is new to the DOJ, DOJ cases involving cryptocurrency criminal activity are not. In October 2020 the DOJ indicted founders & executives of BitMEX for BSA violations by failing to implement an adequate AML program.
The NCET will add greater structure and coordination to the DOJ’s investigative capabilities concerning illicit uses of cryptocurrency, and per Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco will “tackle complex investigations and prosecutions of criminal misuses of cryptocurrency, particularly crimes committed by virtual currency exchanges….”