Cryptocurrencies are a tool in the hands of cybercriminals, and regulating, seizing, and tracing them "demand a multinational response." This was the message conveyed by U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at the 87th Interpol General Assembly, held in Dubai last weekend.
Addressing cybercrime, Rosenstein acknowledged the legitimate uses of cryptocurrencies, but added that "bad actors are using them to fund crimes and to hide illicit proceeds." Referring to the worldwide WannaCry cyber attack of May last year, in which numerous sites were hacked and "held hostage," Rosenstein pointed out that Bitcoin was the exclusive payment method for the ransomware. He also noted that cryptocoins are used by frauds to promote web scams.
Rosenstein. "Make clear that the rule of law can reach the entire blockchain." Mark Wilson/Getty Images.
Rod Rosenstein has led the U.S. Justice Department’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. Relying on his deep understanding of cybercrime, he is urging international cooperation against the use of cryptocurrency by terrorists, criminals, or sanction evaders, a term that may allude to countries such as North Korea and Iran.
"We must work together to make clear that the rule of law can reach the entire blockchain," he stated, adding fuel to the burning debate over cryptocurrency regulation.