US Department of Justice Ramps Up Scrutiny of Crypto Exchanges, NCET Director Reveals – FT
According to the Financial Times, the US government’s cryptocurrency enforcement leader has announced increased monitoring of crypto exchanges to target illicit activities taking place on these platforms. Eun Young Choi, the director of the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) at the Department of Justice (DOJ), stated that the agency is focusing on crypto companies involved in criminal behavior or those that facilitate crimes like money laundering.
Choi emphasized that these exchanges enable other criminal actors to easily profit from their illicit activities and evade detection, which is a matter of concern for the DOJ. By prioritizing the regulation of such platforms, the agency aims to create a ripple effect and curb unlawful practices.
In March, the DOJ charged Minh Quoc Nguyen, a Vietnamese national, with money laundering and identity theft related to the operations of the crypto platform ChipMixer. The case exemplifies the DOJ’s intention to intensify its crackdown on crypto firms and send a strong message to businesses that have evaded anti-money laundering regulations and failed to implement effective compliance and risk mitigation measures.
Choi clarified that the size of a company will not be a determining factor when considering potential charges. Regardless of their scale, all entities involved in unlawful activities will be subject to scrutiny and potential legal action.
The Justice Department also intends to focus on crimes associated with decentralized finance (DeFi), particularly “chain bridges” that facilitate the exchange of various digital tokens. Additionally, the agency will address vulnerabilities in nascent projects with weak code structures that are susceptible to attacks.
The increased scrutiny and enforcement efforts by the US Department of Justice reflect the growing concern over illicit activities and the need to establish a robust regulatory framework within the cryptocurrency industry.