FinCEN’s Michele Korver aims to crack down on digital currency crime

A month ago, Michele Korver made history by becoming the first-ever chief digital currency advisor for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). In a recent interview, she talked about her new role, combating digital currency-related crime and why Bitcoin is just another payment method that needs time to develop and evolve.

As CoinGeek reported, FinCEN hired Korver a month ago to devise and improve on its solutions to prevent and mitigate illicit financial practices and exploitation. She believes that the role was necessary as FinCEN grows its team to match the increased activity involving digital currencies.

In an interview with Law360, she described digital currencies as “just another means of payment value transfer that’s developed over time, just like any financial technology.”

She believes that like any other financial technology, there will always be criminals seeking to exploit digital currencies.

“The government agencies tasked with protecting our financial system and citizens can address these issues through appropriate regulations, as well as through civil and criminal enforcement of law as appropriate,” she told the outlet.

Prior to joining FinCEN, Korver worked with the Department of Justice (DoJ) as the digital currency counsel for its Criminal Division. She has also worked with the Treasury Department as an advisor and was among the U.S. delegates to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

Having focused on the digital currency industry for years now, she has seen several regulators and legislators make attempts—with varying degrees of success—to regulate the industry. While it seems like the calls to rein in the industry have grown louder, she pointed out that since she got started with the DoJ in 2017, “there’s been a steady flow of these types of requests and suggestions and proposals for the filling of gaps.”

The digital currency industry has been linked with cybercrime in recent years, with some like Senator Elizabeth Warren calling on the government to crack down on this vice. However, according to Korver, digital currencies are in some instances even easier to trace for authorities.

“One of the benefits of crypto for those who are tasked with following the money, so to speak, is that for the cryptocurrency to operate on transparent blockchain there is the visible and immutable record in those blockchains. That allows us to effectively trace the transactions,” she told the outlet.

Watch: U.S. Congressman Patrick McHenry on Blockchain Policy Matters with Bitcoin Association’s Jimmy Nguyen

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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