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Justice Department Forms National Network of Prosecutors Focused on Crypto Crime

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Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

The network is also designed to aid the Justice Department as it grapples with novel challenges in the digital currency environment, such as decentralized finance protocols.

Credit: Kevin Dietsch

The Justice Department has tapped more than 150 federal prosecutors across the country to bolster law enforcement's efforts to combat the rise in crime linked to the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, officials said.

The Digital Asset Coordinators Network is intended to designate subject-matter experts in U.S. attorneys' offices on the complex technical and legal complications posed by cryptocurrency cases, the officials said. The Biden administration is announcing the new effort Friday alongside the release of a broader set of frameworks from other agencies concerning regulatory approaches to developing the digital currency ecosystem.

The network was motivated in part due to the high degree of technical expertise that can go into prosecuting cryptocurrency cases, as well as digital currencies' increasing popularity across several different areas of crime, said Eun Young Choi, the first director of the Justice Department's national cryptocurrency enforcement team. Those areas of crime include money laundering or financing terrorism, a vehicle of payment for ransomware hackers, and a direct target of theft, she added.

From The Wall Street Journal
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