While cryptocurrency has a lot of legitimate uses in the world, there are those who make use of it for the sake of perpetuating crime and this has kept law enforcement around the world on their toes. This includes everything from the deep web, where illegal activities take place to the laundering of money across the globe and such many regulatory bodies are keeping a closer eye on cryptocurrency use.
It was announced on August 21, 2019, that the United States Department of the Treasury has added a number of crypto addresses to their Specially Designated Nationals list. This list comes under the foreign narcotics kingpin designation act which is commonly known as the Kingpin Act.
The Kingpin Act and Crypto
As a result of this, the addresses, as well as those associated with them, have been deemed to be associated with foreign narcotics operations and they are under investigation by the body. There are three alleged Chinese citizens named Xiaobing Yan, Fujing Zheng and Guanghua Zheng and all have associated bitcoin addresses on the SDN list while Guanghua has a Litecoin address as well.
The reason for the Kingpin act is to prevent the trading between narcotics traffickers and US entities which include both companies and individuals. The act commissioned government branches to investigate foreign narcotics traffickers and the list exists to keep a record of those who are believed to be associated with them. The list is then brought to the US president who decides whether or not it is appropriate to put sanctions on them.
Because criminals are constantly on the lookout for ways to evade law enforcement, cryptocurrency and the use of digital wallets has become part of their mode of operation and law enforcement is now investigating the use of crypto wallets and addresses more intensely.
The good thing is that law enforcement is cracking down on these activities as several marketplaces on the dark web have been shut down and they included the use of bitcoin for illegal activities. While it is impossible to completely stop the use of cryptocurrency for criminal purposes, it is possible to prosecute these crimes as they occur and as more security measures are put in place and law enforcement becomes more aware of their tactics, these crimes can be mitigated.