The US Secret Service has launched a hub with the intention to educate the public on digital currencies and the need to prevent their use in crimes. This is coming as government agencies are rethinking strategies on how they relate and regard digital assets such as Bitcoin.
The agency said in a release that the hub intends to identify, track, arrest and prosecute criminals who use digital currencies for crimes.
The secret service maintained that cryptocurrencies have continued to grow in popularity. The statement said that this has necessitated that the agency should be on top of its game in following the trend in the system.
It is interesting to note that the tone of the statement is rather friendly towards digital currencies. It stated that cryptocurrency is the future of money and the agency is poised to protect it.
“The Secret Service is the primary agency investigating the illicit use of digital assets and we stand ready to safeguard the next generation of money. ”
The US Justice Department seized some 70,000 bitcoins from two federal agents last November. One of the agents was an investigator who worked on the notorious dark net marketplace, Silk Road. Court filings show that the agents involved are Shaun Bridges of the Secret Service and Carl Mark Force IV of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
The seizure tracked to “Individual X” shows that the agents gained unauthorized access to tainted bitcoins used in criminal activities in the course of their duties as investigators. The agent are currently serving prison terms for crimes related to cryptocurrencies.
The Secret Service is the primary agency investigating the illicit use of digital assets and we stand ready to safeguard the next generation of money.
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) February 18, 2022
The launch of the hub is an indication that cryptocurrency is evolving, even among regulators and law enforcement agents who in the past viewed them as tools for illicit activities such as money laundering and illicit drugs sold in the dark web.