Crypto Conversions Vulnerable to ICE Investigative Tracking

According to a statement released by the United States ICE on October 2nd, discussing the implications of criminal funding through the use of crypto trading, the action of transfering funds puts criminals in a vulnerable position from which they can be detected. The ICE’s Homeland Security sector’s assistant director, Matthew Allen, participated in a US Senate hearing hosted the following day to review the topic of digital assets used within the drug trafficking industry. He noted that popular crypto tokens such as BTC or XMR are often used on unregistered sites operating on the dark web. He also mentioned that the Homeland Security division have successfully been able to track criminal activity related to crypto based laundering of drug funds.      


Anonymous Transactions Can Still Be Tracked

Although the process of exchanging digital currencies is quite simple, criminal activity utilizing such assets still requires the action of exchanging tokens into fiat currencies. Allen noted that this act creates a window of susceptibility to being identified and disrupted. Operations using methods such as surveillance, official informants and blockchain investigation, the Homeland Security sector of the ICE have confirmed the ability to target international criminals and exchanges renowned for facilitating dark web traders.

Worldwide Training Support

Allen provided an overview of various digital asset exchanges and the processes in which crypto firms use to carry out money laundering activities. Anonymity is further provided by crypto startups that do not register as businesses offering money services in order to bypass regulatory policies. The assistant director also ensured that both US based and international training programs are currently being provided to official investigators in order to deepen their understanding and knowledge of tracking digital assets. Such training programs will help improve efforts to prevent crypto firms from carrying out laundering operations as well as traking those utilizing this emerging technology to purchase illegal drugs across the dark web.

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