Treasury official acknowledges most crypto transactions are ‘legitimate’ but still anticipates additional sanctions

Wally Adeyemo, the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, stated the department would likely be implementing more sanctions on business associated with illegal transactions associated to ransomware payments.

Speaking at an online occasion hosted by the Center for a New American Security with previous Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, Adeyemo stated the U.S. federal government would likely be dipping into its tool kit by using sanctions when lawbreakers threaten nationwide security interests. He particularly pointed out “crypto exchanges or mixers that are fundamentally in the business of furthering cybercriminals” as possible targets.

“Our view is that the vast majority of digital assets are being used for legitimate purposes, but for those that are primarily in the business of furthering criminal enterprises, we plan to use our tools to go after them,” stated Adeyemo. “We also have to admit to ourselves that ultimately the growth of digital assets is a challenge that we have to address when it comes to our sanction regimes.”

Adeyemo included any examinations into illegal crypto sanctions would consist of partnership with the FBI, the intelligence community, and other firms. His remarks come following an Oct. 18 report stating the department required to do more to establish its facilities and policies in concerns to digital possessions, as they were hindering the application of sanctions while stabilizing funds from genuine humanitarian companies. The report recommended the U.S. Treasury must update to consist of the “right expertise, technology, and staff” to take on digital possessions.

Related: Rogue states evade financial sanctions, but is crypto in the incorrect?

The federal government department has actually been using sanctions as part of the United States’ efforts to eliminate ransomware attacks threatening the nation’s facilities, such as when Russia-based DarkSide hackers assaulted the Colonial Pipeline system in May. Last month, the department revealed it would enforce sanctions on the Czech Republic in addition to Russia-based service Suex OTC for supposedly permitting hackers to gain access to cryptocurrency sent out as payment for ransomware attacks.

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