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Rod Rosenstein, U.S. Deputy Attorney General, has risen to prominence primarily due to his responsibility and oversight over the Special Counsel investigation (AKA the Mueller investigation) – an eminent role which he held until recently.
But (apparently) Rosenstein also has other duties and responsibilities as well; one of them is being on top of cybercrime. In a recent speech at the Interpol 87th General Assembly in Dubai, Rosenstein addressed this surging issue while dedicating parts of his speech to cryptocurrency crime.
After elaborating on the vital importance of the rule of law in civilized societies, Rosenstein began discussing internet crimes – and swiftly mentioned the dark side of crypto.
We must not allow cybercriminals to hide behind cryptocurrencies. Virtual currencies have some legitimate uses. But bad actors are using them to fund crimes and to hide illicit proceeds.
Objectively, even the most enthusiastic crypto advocates must admit that Rosenstein has a point; currently, the crypto industry unfortunately incorporates way too many criminals, charlatans and manipulators. This actually should be one of the crypto advocates’ main priorities: stopping crypto fraudsters so the industry would attract more investors and users who might be now reluctant to enter an industry which fosters too much deceit and deception. To exemplify his point, Rosenstein cited the WannaCry ransomware attack in May 2017 that exploited security vulnerabilities in over 200,000 computers throughout 150 countries worldwide while demanding blackmail payment in Bitcoin, and Alexander Vinnick who allegedly ran a massive money laundering operation through a crypto exchange.
Rosenstein also used the stage to call for more joint international efforts to fight crypto crime in the global arena.
In addition, fraudsters use the lure of coin offerings and the promise of new currencies to bilk unsuspecting investors, promote scams, and engage in market manipulation. The challenges of regulating, seizing, and tracing virtual currencies demand a multinational response. We must work together to make clear that the rule of law can reach the entire blockchain.
Indeed, today crypto scams mostly don’t just target one particular country, but attempt to bait people from wherever possible. The prospect of different governments working together to supervise and regulate cryptocurrency might be alarming (for good reasons); yet, if done properly and with the right balance, this just might be what could turn the crypto sphere to a widely accepted, established and thriving industry.