US Department of Justice creates cryptocurrency enforcement unit

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The US Department of Justice has created a team to investigate cryptocurrency-related crime. The National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) will handle investigations of “crimes committed by virtual currency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, and money laundering infrastructure actors,” the agency said in a news release. Mixing and tumbling services can obscure the source of a cryptocurrency transaction, by mixing it with other funds.

Cryptocurrency is “used in a wide variety of criminal activity,” including ransomware demand payments, money laundering, and for the illegal sales of drugs, weapons, and malware, the agency noted. Several high-profile ransomware cases have involved demands in cryptocurrency, including the…

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