US-Led Multilateral Ransomware Meeting Calls for Enhanced Powers Over Crypto

Crypto is the “primary” financial instrument used to facilitate attacks.

AccessTimeIconOct 15, 2021 at 7:30 a.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:49 p.m. UTC
Drive the Crypto Policy Conversation Forward
October 24, 2023 • Convene • Washington D.C.Where the industry establishes the digital economy’s legal, regulatory and compliance best practices for the future.Register Now

Participating governments will strengthen their capacity to clamp down on the use of virtual assets in ransomware operations, 31 countries and the European Union said in a joint statement following a U.S.-led conference on ransomware.

  • The participating members will enhance the capacity of national authorities “to regulate, supervise, investigate and take action” against the exploitation of virtual assets by malicious actors, whilst adhering to “appropriate” privacy protections, the statement said.
  • The virtual meeting was hosted by the U.S. White House. Representative from Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, European Union, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom participated.
  • The statement said crypto is “the primary instrument” criminals used in ransomware payments and money laundering.
  • Uneven enforcement of the recommendations of the global Financial Action Task Force, an inter-governmental organization, has lead to jurisdictional arbitrage that ransomware operators can exploit, the joint statement proclaimed.
  • North America is disproportionately affected by ransomware. Between July 2020 and June 2021, North American addresses sent $131 million to ransomware attacks, more than double that of the next biggest target region, Central, Western and Northern Europe, according to a report by intelligence firm Chainalysis.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Eliza Gkritsi

Eliza Gkritsi was CoinDesk's AI/crypto reporter.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.