Boom in Drug Dealer Digital Currency Use Sparks Worries Among US Officials


The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) company has seen “a substantial increase” in circumstances involving digital currencies in the drug commerce, an official informed Congress yesterday.

The remark was made by Matthew Allen, an assistant director for one of many Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) investigative arms, talking throughout a House of Representatives listening to on opioid abuse, in response to published remarks dated 21st March.

Homeland Security Investigations, or HSI, makes use of blockchain evaluation to trace digital currency funds related to the heroin and fentanyl trades, in response to Allen. And whereas the company informed the US Senate in a late 2013 statement that it was working to research legal makes use of of the know-how, his statements signify a number of the first disclosures as to the way it conducts these operations.

Allen informed committee members:

“ICE has seen a substantial increase in cases in which private parties are acting as money service businesses to exchange digital currencies into fiat currency to enjoy the illicit proceeds of narcotics smuggling. The IFPCU also utilizes resources provided by the Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture’s Third-Party Money Laundering Initiative to support complex financial investigations.”

The preliminary curiosity for DHS in digital currencies traces again to the heyday of Silk Road, the now-defunct darkish market. According to a presentation dated February 2014, the division stated that it was working to “build the capacity of field agents to identify virtual currency exchangers”, however on the time made no reference to blockchain evaluation.

Since then, DHS has additionally moved to fund blockchain-related tasks, later telling CoinDesk that it was particularly in functions associated to safety and IoT.

Homeland Security mage through Shutterstock

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