Crypto and the FBI


Jul 2, 2019
The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Christopher Wray stated that cryptocurrency is a “significant issue” that is going to become a “bigger and bigger” problem for law enforcement, specifically the FBI. the FBI’s main goal is to protect and defend the United States, and to uphold and enforce criminal laws in the nation. They serve to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, municipal, state, and international agencies. So, what’s the deal with crypto and the FBI? Let’s dive in.

The hearing

What do we know about crypto and the FBI?

In a hearing in front of the US Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee in November, Wray responded to questions from Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney, about cryptocurrency, terrorist deterrence and law enforcement, and how the three intertwine.

According to Wray, the FBI are looking at cryptocurrency “from an investigative perspective, including tools that we have to follow the money even in this new world that we’re living in.”

Romney led with a line of questioning that looked at how cryptocurrency could facilitate terrorist financing, which Wray seemed to support, saying that adversaries of the US are becoming “more facile with technology and particular various types of technology that anonymize their efforts.”

Wray touched on other aspects of encryption technology, and said:

“Whether its cryptocurrency, whether it’s default encryption on devices and messaging platforms; we are moving as a country and world in a direction where if we don’t get our act together money, people, communication, evidence, facts, all the bread and butter for all of us to do our work will be essentially walled off from the men and women we represent.”

According to a 2018 report, the FBI are investigating roughly 180 cases involving cryptocurrency, ranging from issues involving ransomware to human trafficking. In May 2019, the FBI shut down DeepDotWeb, a dark web marketplace that offered services in exchange for some cryptocurrencies.

Wray concluded his interview, saying that the FBI already had their collective eye on cryptocurrencies, and that they have the tools “to try and follow the money.” The FBI director also noted that the US will need to keep up with advancements in crypto technology, or will find itself “walled off.”

Still, what we can tell from this hearing is that crypto is just as secure, and traded, as ever. Marketplaces like Vertex.Market have offerings where you can get in on coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum - allowing you to trade and keep your money away from the prying eyes of the FBI.

FBI follows the money

When it comes to crypto and the FBI, there’s a lot of tension. According to Wray, the US has significant cause for concern when it comes to crypto and encryption technologies. It has to be said that shady cryptocurrency dealings aren’t the norm, contrary to what many of the general population seem to think.