The FBI is launching a unit to analyze blockchain and monitor virtual assets and their possible confiscation.
This was reported by Reuters, citing a statement by Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
In addition, the U.S. Justice Department has attracted an “experienced prosecutor” on computer crimes, which will lead a new group on the protection of cryptocurrencies.
It is noted that the creation of the FBI’s Virtual Assets Unit was announced after the DOJ charged a New York couple with laundering more than $4.5 billion in bitcoins stolen in the 2016 Bitfinex exchange hack.
“U.S. regulators, led by President Joe Biden, stepped up their scrutiny of the crypto industry after a series of high-profile cyberattacks last year on the largest U.S. fuel pipeline network and the world’s largest beef supplier. Hacker groups often demand payment in bitcoins,” the agency recalls.
Reuters adds that in some of these cases, the FBI has been able to track down and recover some of the ransom.
The cryptocurrency watchdog team will be led by prosecutor Yoon Young Choi.