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HomeLaw & PoliticsDepartment of Justice launches Digital assets and nationwide network report

Department of Justice launches Digital assets and nationwide network report

On September 17, the Department of Justice announced significant actions regarding digital assets, including the public release of its report on The Role of Law Enforcement in Detecting, Investigating, and Prosecuting Criminal Activity Related to Digital Assets. This is in response to US President Joe Biden’s Executive Order (EO) on Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets and the establishment of the nationwide Digital Asset Coordinator (DAC) Network.

According to the White House Fact Sheet, these efforts are part of a larger, cross-government effort to develop frameworks and policy recommendations that advance six key priorities identified in the EO: consumer and investor protection; financial stability; illicit finance; U.S. leadership in the global financial system and economic competitiveness; financial inclusion; and responsible innovation.

Reports on ensuring responsible development of Digital Assets

Digital asset developments have created a new terrain for criminals to utilise innovation to further major criminal and national security risks both here and abroad, as stated by Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. Through the establishment of the DAC Network, the Criminal Division and the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team will continue to guarantee that the Department and its prosecutors remain at the forefront of cryptocurrency enforcement.

First, in response to the Executive Order, the department’s report examines how criminals use digital asset technologies, the challenges they pose for criminal investigations, the initiatives the department and law enforcement agencies have set up as part of whole-of-government efforts to more effectively detect, investigate, prosecute, and otherwise disrupt these crimes, as well as recommends regulatory and legislative measures.

Second, the department’s Criminal Division founded the DAC. Over 150 designated federal prosecutors from U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and other litigating divisions make up the government’s DAC Network, which is overseen by the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) of the department.

The department’s primary venue for prosecutors to gather and share specialised training, technological know-how, and guidance about the investigation and prosecution of digital asset crimes will be the DAC Network. The DAC Network’s initial meeting was presided over by the NCET Director, Eun Young Choi, on September 8.

The department’s June 2022 report, How to Strengthen International Law Enforcement Cooperation for Detecting, Investigating, and Prosecuting Criminal Activity Related to Digital Assets, is supplemented by the information in this document. This article highlights the unique challenges posed by cross-border digital asset investigations and provides recommendations for bolstering enforcement and improving international cooperation in the field.

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