Experts call for tougher KYC / AML procedures to combat bitcoin ransomware

A group of US government and industry experts have proposed strengthening international KYC / AML enforcement to reduce ransomware attacks.

“Governments should require cryptocurrency exchanges, exchanges and OTC platforms to comply with existing laws, including user identification, anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing,” the task force said in a report.

The authors emphasized that most ransomware demands a ransom not in anonymous cryptocurrencies, but in bitcoin due to its high liquidity, and use mixing services to hide their tracks.

In this regard, they recommended tightening the requirements for cryptocurrency companies wishing to obtain a license for money transfers, and stop payments to malware developers through closer cooperation with law enforcement agencies.

These measures, according to experts, should be extended internationally:

“The laws or capabilities of an individual country will not be enough to combat this global threat.”

The task force received support from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the UK National Cybersecurity Center and Europol. DHS is committed to following a number of recommendations made in the report.

According to Coveware, in the first quarter of 2020, 99% of payments to ransomware operators were made in bitcoin. In the first quarter of 2021, the average ransom rate for ransomware attacks reached $ 220,298 in cryptocurrency .

The Anti-Ransomware Task Force includes over 60 experts from software companies, cybersecurity professionals, financial institutions, government and academic institutions, and civil society representatives.

As a reminder, in September 2020, KYC / AML procedures were toughened by FinCEN… Her suggestions included the collection of personal information about the parties to transactions and transactions of clients of cryptocurrency companies.

Representatives of a16z and Coinbase, as well as Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, called the rules disastrous for the industry .

Leave a comment