The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) has disclosed a cryptocurrency intelligence program aimed at identifying illegal crypto transactions.
The ICE cryptocurrency intelligence program will target unlicensed crypto businesses using P2P sites, online forums, and darknet markets.
Notably, these areas have repeatedly been an area of challenge to law enforcement. ICE, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
ICE explained that a large portion of these unlicensed business services engages in laundering, trafficking, narcotics, amongst other illegal activities.
According to the report, the cryptocurrency intelligence program was developed by ICE’s Bulk Cash Smuggling Center (BCSC) and would also be deployed in every crypto-facing Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Crypto transactions aiding illegal transactions
ICE has raised concerns over P2P platforms several times over the years. It noted that unlicensed P2P activities have continually presented “a significant challenge to law enforcement.”
According to ICE, “Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are the preferred payment method in darknet markets. It is common for unlicensed P2P exchangers to obtain their bitcoin from selling illicit goods and services on darknet markets.
ICE added that the current US regulatory framework for money transmission activities does not cover the full range of crypto activities that could be exploited for illicit purposes.
However, the US security authorities have charged several individuals and businesses for illegal crypto activities on P2P platforms and darknet markets.
Also, other US agency such as the Director of National Intelligence has expressed several negative beliefs. They believe that a national digital currency could undermine the US dollar.
Notably, the US has also set in motion researchers to analyze the threat and the impact of the US dollar, losing its value in the launch of a CBDC.
Additionally, it is not public news that the estimated amount the CIP will cost to establish or run. However, a previous investigation found ICE was one of the largest spenders on blockchain forensic services in the federal government.