Illicit Cryptocurrency Use Targeted in Proposed 2018 FBI Budget
Cryptocurrency is being cited by the FBI as a reason it needs to increase its spending in an effort to combat more advanced cybercrime.
The FBI is requesting $21m and 80 new employees in a bid to investigate emerging tech that could help the agency combat cybercrime.
In a budget request for fiscal year 2018, sent on 21st June, Andrew McCabe, acting director of the FBI, testified to the White House that the agency is facing what it believes are significant challenges in gaining access to digital information – even when it has the legal authority to do so. This notably includes cases that involve "drug traffickers using virtual currencies to obscure their transactions".
It is also the same narrative that the FBI's former Director James Comey put forth last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The challenge, the agency has said, is that the FBI now requires more financial resources to investigate technologies and decipher information transmitted on the darknet. Elsewhere, it is also engaging in dialogues with companies that provide such technology to educate them on the "corrosive effects" that information inaccessibility has on "public safety and the rule of law".
, the privacy-encrypted digital currency Monero (XMR), for example, drew attention from FBI for similar reasons.
A special agent working at the FBI's Cyber Division in New York City said at an event that the agency has concerns such technology will set roadblocks for criminal investigations.
"Developing alternative technical methods is typically a time-consuming, expensive and uncertain process," the agency said.
FBI 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.
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 consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.