ACFCS Cryptocrime Workshop Takeaways Day One: Bitcoin-fueled Ransomware ransackers run amok, but more banks, virtual asset firms working together to fight back – CFCS | Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists

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By Brian Monroe
bmonroe@acfcs.org
May 20, 2021

After a Crypto Crash Course Wednesday, ACFCS kicked off its official start to its two-day “Cryptocurrencies and Cryptocrime Workshop,” where hundreds of professionals in the public and private sectors tackled some of the current challenges and historical vulnerabilities tied to the roiling and rollicking virtual value sector.

Day one included practical takeaways and relevant insight from former and current federal investigators, bank and crypto exchange compliance leaders, regulatory and watchdog bodies and more from around the world, including the United States, India, Canada, Europe, Latin America and other regions, illuminating what criminals are doing and detailing the latest compliance countermeasures to stop them.

One of the biggest challenges is that virtual Assets, like Bitcoin, Monero Zcash and others, sit at the nexus of many different technological, legal and compliance frameworks, with some countries categorizing them as a property, others a security or commodity, and, finally, a currency.

Speakers noted the connection between the domain of digital value – which has fallen roughly 50 percent in recent days under the weight of pressure from China and wavering support from Tesla founder Elon Musk – and cyber-enabled fraud, like ransomware and other cyber hack attacks.

The most high-profile example was the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, halting the operation and causing gas prices to soar, and even shortages in some Southeast states. News agencies later reported the company paid millions in Bitcoin to get access back to locked systems.

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