US President, Donald Trump, has released an executive order in which he authorized the establishment of a task force that will oversee an investigation of crypto crimes. “Cyber Fraud” and “Digital Currency Fraud” are among the leading crimes that the new unit will strive to tackle as from its onset. 

The executive officiating directive classifies crypto crimes under the consumer protection regulations of the US Justice Department. At the moment, it is notable that Bitcoin and other digital currencies have kept on gaining popularity among most markets. With this increase in demand, these currencies have also become susceptible to fraud. In light of such newly developing niche of digital currencies crimes, the new task force was designed to boost the government’s efforts in combating crypto fraud.  

The US Government’s new task force will have representatives from The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), The Federal Trade Commission, The Consumer Financial Bureau, and The Department of Justice. As by the directive, The Justice Department will head the new unit into countering cyber fraud.

Now, the move to legalize a task force that will look into reported incidents of crypto fraud does not come as a surprise. In the past, The Justice Department’s showed various attempts intended to combat cybercrimes that involved digital currencies. For instance, in February this year, The US Justice Department through the Attorney General launched a cybercrime taskforce that was to fight growing incidents of cybercrimes. Crypto crimes were part of the listed offenses in the February task force.

This second move to secure crypto has been welcome by most entities. Many view the government’s move to establish a specialized taskforce for handling crypto crime as an appropriate strategy to improve the sector. In a sense, most people perceive this as a strategic move to make the digital currency platforms secure and more trustworthy within America before the government can recognize them formally. 

Besides The US Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has been the other notable contributor to the success of crypt in America. The commission has pumped significant resources into the fruition of safe crypto trading techniques within America.  

What we all know for sure is that:

Bitcoin (or any other cryptocurrency) is not recognized as a legal tender by any state. One of the hindrances to the implementation of counter “crypto fraud” regulations or frameworks by governments is the fact that they are not legal tenders. Most governments and corporate entities operate on strict legal structures. In a sense, governments are centralized entities.

On the other hand, Bitcoin operates as a distributed entity. The foundational principle of its operation was to make the currency distributed and free from a central control or central manipulation. Because of this, governments have found it challenging to curb crimes that arise from digital currency transactions. 

FinCen, a bureau of the US Treasury Department, had noted this outstanding obstacle. In response to the worrying popularity of Bitcoin in 2013, FinCen indicated that governments still played a role in controlling Bitcoin, although indirectly. FinCen observed that though governments could not develop policies that affect digital currencies; they could create strategies that oversee the conversion of cryptocurrencies to state currencies.

Here is what is open to speculation

The Security and Exchange Commission stated at the beginning of the year of its intention to secure both the exchange and storage of the digital asset values. Drawing from the argument of FinCen and SEC, one can then begin to understand the possible steps that the new cybercrime taskforce will undertake (albeit vaguely). Although we are yet to establish the likely actions by the task force, it seems as though the American Government’s new task force role will be to eliminate the anonymity of transactions during storage or exchange of currency value. 

Amna El Tawil is an experienced journalist with a strong background in financial writing. She is a cryptocurrency enthusiast and has been writing about digital currencies since 2016. When not writing, Amna can probably be found in bed with a book cuddling with her beloved Siberian Husky.

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