Washington is targeting the anonymity of Bitcoin & Co.

“That would be a huge thing,” says a member of the task force. Several American ministries and security agencies apparently want to present plans today to regulate cryptocurrencies more tightly and to combat abuse.

There is a Bitcoin vending machine in New York.

EAccording to insiders, an American group of experts will be calling for significantly stricter regulation of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin this Thursday to combat blackmail software. The core element of the proposals is breaking the anonymization of crypto transactions, as the Reuters news agency learned in advance from people familiar with the matter.

Among other things, crypto exchanges should have to find out more about their customers, and license requirements for owners of electronic currencies and rules for money laundering should be tightened. A new special department of the Ministry of Justice should specialize in the seizure of cryptocurrencies, a currently difficult process.

“That would be a huge thing,” said a high-ranking representative of the Ministry of Homeland Security, who did not want to be named. “This is a world that was created specifically to be able to remain anonymous. But at some point you have to give up something to ensure everyone’s safety. “

Are there new rules coming by law?

The task force includes representatives from the Federal FBI and the Secret Service, which is also responsible for certain financial offenses in the United States. Big technology and security companies are also involved. Some of the proposals would require new legislation.

In the United States, government and business are fighting a wave of blackmail software – called “ransomware” – which encrypts victims’ data. To get them back, the hackers demand cash payments, often in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. In addition to companies and authorities, hospitals and schools are also affected. Two members of the expert group recently put the amount extorted last year at almost $ 350 million – tripling compared to 2019.