- The US Treasury’s crime bureau, FinCEN, hired its first chief digital currency advisor.
- Michele Korver, who was in the Digital Currency Council for the Department of Justice, has got the job.
- The focus of the role will be on preventing a boom in illicit activities in the digital space.
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The US government arm for tackling financial crimes has hired its first cryptocurrency chief, as it takes aim at illicit activity that has involved digital assets.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) said on Tuesday it had hired Michele Korver as its first chief digital currency advisor.
FinCEN’s role is to clamp down on financial crimes like money laundering, and Korver will focus on fulfilling this mission in the digital space.
“Michele brings a wealth of digital currency expertise, and will be a tremendous leader in co-ordinated efforts to maximize FinCEN’s contribution to the innovative potential for financial expansion of opportunity, while minimizing illicit finance risk,” FinCEN acting director Michael Mosier said in a statement announcing the hire.
Regulators have cited the use of cryptocurrencies in money laundering as one factor in considering whether to introduce tougher rules for the industry.
The US was home to more crypto-related criminal activity in 2020 than anywhere else, Chainalysis said in a February report that covered ransomware and money laundering, among other areas. According to the crypto research firm, most cryptocurrency linked to illicit addresses in the US came from scams.
Korver is no stranger to crimes in the digital space as she served in the Digital Currency Council for the Department of Justice for three years up until this month. In her role there, she advised government attorneys, federal agents and other bureaus nationwide on digital currencies as well as developed policy on cryptocurrency seizures.
At the DOJ, Korver wrote or contributed to three papers on digital currency, including one on enforcement . In a paper earlier this year, she wrote about how cryptocurrencies are a unique money-laundering tool because they are decentralized and can keep identities hidden.
Money laundering in the crypto space typically involves criminals sending illicit proceeds to exchanges that are regarded as being risky, or less reputable than well-established ones. There, the funds end up in deposit addresses that are usually controlled by cyber criminals, according to Chainalysis.