The US plans to limit Bitcoin payments to hackers. The administration of US President Joe Biden is preparing a number of measures aimed at combating cryptocurrency payments to hackers who are behind the attacks of ransomware viruses. The authorities expect to restrict access to this form of payment, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing knowledgeable sources.
According to them, The US Department of the Treasury plans to release a new guide for enterprises as early as next week. It will explain the risks associated with facilitating payments in favor of cryptographers, including fines and other penalties.
Later in 2021, the United States will allegedly adopt new rules to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. They will limit the use of cryptocurrencies as a payment mechanism in attacks of ransomware viruses and other illegal activities.
Blacklisting the entire industry
Presumably, the Treasury’s measures will be aimed at digital wallets and platforms that allow exchanging assets, as well as at the persons behind these operations. WSJ sources believe that we are talking about targeted sanctions, and not “blacklisting the entire industry”.
For example, measures against a Bitcoin exchange that processed ransom payments can not only stop the operational activities of a company. But also force other users to carefully analyze customer transactions, avoiding suspicious ones.
The publication noted that in order to form the market, US regulators are developing new rules. In addition, new rules are aimed at increasing the transparency of the industry. According to some officials, such measures will allow “to restrain transactions of persons who want to remain anonymous.”
Monitoring of cryptocurrency transactions
Earlier, a member of The Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Maggie Hassan, sent a letter to a number of institutions. In particular, her letter expressed concern about the use of cryptocurrency as a ransom for extortion programs.
Among the recipients are the Ministry of Justice; the Ministry of Internal Security; The Internal Revenue Service; the Securities and Exchange Commission; the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
President Biden considered monitoring cryptocurrency transactions one of the possible options for combating cryptographers. By tracking ransoms paid by victims of attacks, the White House expects to prevent virus operators from using digital assets.