World governments are improving ways to confiscate cryptocurrencies

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Amid the rise in crime associated with cryptocurrencies, world governments have focused on finding ways to confiscate funds held in digital wallets.

Last week, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was looking for a private provider of analytics software to track crypto transactions related to illegal activities. Former FBI analyst Crane Hassold said in an interview that the agency uses special methods to confiscate cryptocurrencies.

“As cryptocurrencies have become an integral component of cybercrime, especially when it comes to ransomware, the US government has focused on finding ways to confiscate funds held in digital wallets.”

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Hassold added that the methods of recovering such funds were not disclosed, and “it is unlikely that the US government will make these tactics public.” Programmer and cryptocurrency analyst Stephen Diehl noted that the confiscation of cryptocurrencies stolen in 2016 from Bitfinex from the wallets of Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife Heather Morgan did not cause any special difficulties.

He explained that Liechtenstein kept his private keys to cryptocurrency wallets in the cloud. After obtaining search warrants, law enforcement officials were able to access a file containing 2,000 cryptocurrency addresses and Liechtenstein’s private keys. According to Deal, “the case was solved primarily due to poor information security on the part of the alleged perpetrators.”

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The UK and the US have different rules for the confiscation of cryptocurrencies. According to UK Proceeds of Crime law, cryptocurrencies are classified as property. This means law enforcement must wait for a suspect to be convicted before seizing the cryptocurrency. If cryptocurrencies qualified as money, they could be confiscated simply on suspicion of involvement in criminal activity.

Often, law enforcement cannot access the crypto they are pursuing – for example, if these funds are placed on cryptocurrency wallets whose owners are not in custody. In such cases, law enforcement agencies “freeze” the funds. Also, the authorities block cryptocurrency transactions using the law – such measures were taken by the Canadian government against the “Freedom Convoy”.

Lawyer for Ottawa protesters Paul Champ said the Canadian government invoked the Emergency Act on Feb. 15 with the intention of blocking access to fund the Freedom Convoy, and an injunction was issued on Feb. 17 as part of a broader lawsuit against the protesters. . According to Champan, this is “the first successful application in Canada of a ban targeting cryptocurrency exchanges.”

Earlier this month, UK Revenue and Customs seized £5,000 worth of cryptocurrencies and three non-fungible tokens as part of a £1.4 million fraud investigation. In June last year, law enforcement in the EU, Australia and the US carried out one of the largest operations against organized crime and seized crypto assets and fiat currencies worth $48 million.

Source: Bits

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