The United States’ concerns about the rise of cryptocurrency use in illegal activities have only been growing as developments in the space continue to push the envelope. There is a global race to launch stablecoins that could be potentially utilized by more than half the world’s population. Meanwhile, Facebook is committed to launching a Libra stablecoin that is regulatorily compliant and can be used by over 2.5 billion Facebook subscribers. Russia is leading the world’s first multinational stablecoin initiative along with the Eurasian Economic Union and BRICS countries, which could be utilized by 41% of the world’s population, and Tether launched an offshore yuan-pegged stablecoin dubbed CNHT, which can be transmitted person-to-person via blockchain-based mobile devices.
Amid these developments, stringent U.S. federal laws and the subsequent Anti-Money Laundering measures adopted by traditional financial institutions are forcing sophisticated transnational organized syndicates and foreign adversaries such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, as well as terrorist groups and other non-state actors, to shift the movement of their illicit proceeds outside of the established financial industry. To avoid the scrutiny of U.S. law enforcement, these actors are increasingly employing non-traditional methods by moving crypto funds peer-to-peer via mobile devices, crypto exchanges and darknet markets into and out of the U.S.
Accordingly, U.S. law enforcement and regulatory agencies have responded to these concerns by continuing law enforcement efforts, establishing a Cryptocurrency Intelligence Program and proposing new regulations and tax reporting requirements to pave the way for the widespread adoption of blockchain technology.