The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been active in investigating crypto-related offences throughout 2021. It has issued safety recommendations for cryptocurrency fans, seen a spike in fraud at crypto ATMs, and taken steps to improve security. It also seized a substantial sum of crypto assets from criminal people on many occasions. As per information available, Crypto-based crimes have increased by over 80%, reaching now above USD 14 billion. However, the overall growth of the crypto business has hit an all-time high and the value of crypto transactions increased by 550 percent to USD 15.8 trillion in 2021.
In comparison to total market growth, criminal activity in the crypto world declined dramatically, reaching an all-time low of 0.15 percent. Despite the modest proportion, the magnitude of crypto fraud compelled the US Department of Justice to intervene. Accordingly, the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) was established in October 2021. The fundamental goal of NCET is to address complicated investigations and prosecutions of illegal cryptocurrency misuses, including crimes perpetrated by virtual currency exchanges, money laundering infrastructure operators etc.
After the four months of the creation of NCET, the Department of Justice expanded NCET’s powers further by establishing the Virtual Asset Exploitation Unit (VAXU). VAXU is formally affiliated with the NCET, but it does have a major relationship with the FBI because it brings together numerous FBI individuals with excellence in the field.
Upon its launch date of VAXU, The Department of Justice designated Eun Young C, an ex-senior counsel to the Deputy Attorney General, as the new chairman of NCET. The association of VAXU with the FBI creates the impression that VAXU is a task force instead of a research department. The appointment of an ex-adviser as the new chief of NCET gives an impression that the United States is preparing for well-executed physical interferences with malicious attempts in the crypto space.