US DOJ to suppress illicit crypto exchange activity, official says

US DOJ to suppress illicit crypto exchange activity, official says

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is trying to crack down on cryptocurrency platforms amid highly volatile market conditions.

According to Eun Young Choi, the tsar’s National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) director, the DOJ is trying to scrutinize cryptocurrency exchanges actively engaged in or allowed illicit activities — money laundering, scams, and theft, among other things.

According to Choi, some crypto exchanges have been problematic to the DOJ by “allowing for all the other criminal actors to profit from their crimes easily.” She told the Financial Times (FT) that the agency is trying to “have a multiplier effect” by scrutinizing “those types of platforms.”

“We’re seeing the scale and the scope of digital assets being used in a variety of illicit ways grow significantly over the last, say, four years.” 

Eun Young Choi, the director of NCET

However, this is not the first move taken by the US regulator. The DOJ has been trying to “send a deterrent message,” according to Choi, after the collapse of some high-profile crypto firms — FTX, Celsius, and Terra, among others.

According to a report on May 6, the agency has been investigating the largest crypto exchange, Binance, for breaching Russian sanctions. Binance claimed it didn’t violate any international sanctions while pointing out its strict AML and know-your-customer (KYC) rules.

“Think of what message it would send,” Choi added. “It can’t be the way that we think when it comes to crypto, when it comes to any white-collar crime”.

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