A criminal investigatory unit in the UK is reporting that it has seen an increase in the use of bitcoin by criminals.
The UK Serious Fraud Office, an independent agency within the UK government, disclosed the stance in new comments addressing whether it believes bitcoin is "being used" in criminal activity. The remarks, published yesterday, represent what appear to be the SFO’s first public statements on bitcoin.
While the agency denied that it had undertaken any specific studies on the technology, the SFO said that it would consider such investigations given its mandate to look into new forms of fraud.
The SFO said in its response:
While the SFO indicated that it hasn't pursued or released any research of its own, other elements of the UK government have done so in the past.
Last November, HM Treasury released a report detailing how digital currencies pose the lowest money laundering risk among other means, including banks and cash.
The full SFO letter can be found below:
Image via Shutterstock
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.