Crypto adoption in sights: Regulators and industry join to fight ransomware


Data shows that as more people are forced to work from home, the number of ransomware attacks will peak over time, and in April 2021 alone, the frequency of such incidents will increase by 45%. Not only that, some insist that the rise of ransomware attacks is closely related to the rapid growth of the crypto sector.

In the midst of recent positive activity in the cryptocurrency market, the news that US regulators are actively investigating the link between cryptocurrency and ransomware also seems to dampen the mood somewhat, especially as various government agencies seem to be considering crypto-exempt goods. As a serious problem, strict measures are required. a job.

As the adoption of digital assets continues to spread in the United States, it appears that lawmakers want to better understand how these proposals can be used for various legal and illegal purposes. For example, the ransom law, introduced on October 5 by Senator Elizabeth Warren and actress Deborah Ross, requires victims of ransomware attacks to disclose any ransom they may encounter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

According to Warren and Ross, the goal here is to collect critical data on cash payments and cryptocurrencies that relevant regulators can eventually use to protect investors from cybercrime, as well as to curb any illegal economic activity taking place in the United States. States. In addition, the bill also aims to examine the direct role of cryptocurrencies in ransomware attacks, and the Department of Homeland Security will support this work.

Similarly, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco recently announced that the Department of Justice has launched a new initiative called the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Group, which aims to get rid of all projects that might allow criminals to launder cryptocurrency proceeds. “We want to strengthen our ability to dismantle the financial system that allows these criminals to thrive and profit from what they are doing,” Monaco said.

What is driving this wave?
To better understand why US regulators are making such a concerted effort to combat any crypto-related ransomware, Cointelegraph contacted Kadan Stadelmann, chief technology officer of open-source blockchain company Komodo.

In his opinion, a quick look at the data available online shows that all types of ransomware attacks – not just cryptocurrency – are becoming more frequent, and he added: “Just look at the stats. Palo Alto Networks reported last month that the average acquisition in 2021 It is currently around $570,000, 82% more than the 2020 average of $312k. 2020 was also significantly worse than 2019.”

“Reversing this trend will require a more mature regulatory framework for the blockchain industry in the coming decade, as well as improved cybersecurity in general.”
When asked whether higher spending on such research activities is justified, Stadlemann opined that governments should not only take more action, but also allocate additional funds and resources in this regard. In this regard, he also mentioned that governments can start by adopting guidelines to ensure that businesses and everyone who operates critical infrastructure is better prepared for such incidents: “Together, having proactive and reactive cybersecurity plans will reduce the impact of a ransomware attack. ”

Du Jun, co-founder of crypto exchange Huobi, shares relatively the same sentiment, telling Cointelegraph that every government has a responsibility to prevent money laundering (AML) and combat terrorist financing (CFT) within its borders. … , adding that it is normal for the US government to take regulatory actions that it should regulate through the cryptocurrency market. he added:

“It is difficult to use cryptocurrencies as a means of payment due to the lack of clarity regarding responsibility to comply with AML/CFT requirements and the absence of a central supervisor. These measures may create problems for cryptocurrencies, but they will be beneficial to the ecosystem in the long run, protecting investors from uncertainty and helping on improving the business environment.”
Finally, he said that in addition to oversight, the US government should also devote more resources to encouraging the growth of new businesses in this field, making the country more competitive and attractive to crypto enthusiasts.



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