US Secret Service unveils cryptocurrency awareness hub

The move comes as a result of the agency recognising the growing popularity of cryptos

US Secret Service agent                                 
The US Secret Service is on a mission to educate the public about crypto fraud – Photo: Alamy
                                

The US Secret Service has launched a cryptocurrency awareness hub, which provides information on digital asset security to the public.

The US Secret Service was created in 1865 to protect the national financial infrastructure, and still safeguards the US economy to this day.     

The federal law enforcement agency has released a public service announcement video celebrating the news.


Crypto has become more popular

The new forum has been created in response to the US Secret Service recognising that “cryptocurrencies [are] continuing to become more popular forms of payments”.

The agency makes it clear that crypto activities “are not inherently criminal,” but goes on to say that cyber criminals have developed networks to launder digital money through “over-the-counter brokers or exchange services and other unlicenced money services”.  

The US Secret Service is working in close partnership with the US Department of the Treasury to further investigate these cybercrimes.    

The agency said it wants to remain at the “forefront of both educating the public and combating financial fraud”.

Why is this the Secret Service’s responsibility?

As the US Secret Service is responsible for “detecting, investigating and arresting any person who violates certain laws related to financial systems,” the agency feels cryptos fall under its purview.

Additionally, it said, cryptos have been increasingly used “to facilitate a range of crimes, including various fraud schemes and the use of ransomware.”

The US also sees itself as a leader in “setting standards for regulating and supervising the use of digital assets for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism purposes”.  

Jeremy Sheridan, investigations assistant director of the US Secret Service Office of Investigations, said: “Blockchain technology has brought massive development to many sectors, especially within finance. The Secret Service’s mission of investigating financial crimes has advanced in lockstep with this progress.

“Our obligation to enforce crimes against the nation’s financial systems includes both informing the public on how digital assets work, and partnering with them to identify, arrest and prosecute those engaging in crimes involving digital assets. The Secret Service will continue to expand its capabilities, collaboration and effectiveness related to all financial crimes investigations.”

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