The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced a new enforcement team that will focus on tackling cryptocurrency financial crime.
It marks the latest move by the US to build its defenses against cyber-attacks in the digital space.
US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco confirmed the news during the Aspen Cyber Summit and said that the DOJ is prepared to fight back against practices and markets that allow cyber criminals to flourish.
Monaco pointed out that the DOJ had already made considerable efforts and achieved significant successes in tackling cryptocurrency crime, referring to the ransoms it has been able to retrieve from hackers.
So far, the team includes six anti-money laundering and cyber-security experts. Monaco explained that cryptocurrency exchanges want to be the banks of the future but for this to come to fruition, the DOJ has to make sure that people can trust such organizations.
The DOJ recently convicted Ohio-man Larry Harmon who was running Bitcoin (BTC) mixer, a tool that has helped hide the original source of BTC source and has been linked to criminal activity.
Another American citizen was recently sentenced for having assisted North Korean hacking groups to launder ill-gotten money through US banks. The DOJ has been able to return a $2.3m ransom back to Colonial Pipeline.