Much of the media attention is surrounding Donald Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom. However, just before he left the United States this Thursday, he signed an executive order on cryptocurrency investigations.
Cryptocurrency task force
Why create a cryptocurrency task force? The simple answer is ‘fraud’. You will recall all the Internet giants like Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit placing bans on ICO and cryptocurrency advertisements. That was due to the many scams and fraudulent activities in the industry. Now, the president has signed an executive order for a new task force to be formed within the Department of Justice.
The executive order replaces a previous task force that was created back in 2009. The Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force is now outdated in the wake of cryptocurrency.
The mandate the new task force have been given is to investigate and prosecute the criminal elements within the cryptocurrency community. The task force is also responsible for bringing justice to the American people by returning the money that have been stolen or scammed to their rightful owners.
Who are the members of the task force?
Trump seems to have renewed faith in the FBI, after he fired the previous director James Comey. The new director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, will be heading the newly created taskforce. Among the members will also be Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Wray and Rosenstein will be accompanied by various representatives from departments like Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Trade Commission.
In addition to the members of the US-based task force, the group will also collaborate internationally in order to address the global issue of cryptocurrency fraud and crime.
What are the primary goals of the task force?
As mentioned, the goal of the task force is to investigate fraud and crime within the cryptocurrency space. This goal will cover not only the American government, but also the general public as well as the financial market. Although the main focus of the task force will be on digital currencies, the task force will cover all aspects of cyber-fraud.
Some of the fraudulent activities that will be investigated are the ‘pump and dump’ schemes common to cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings. The aim of these schemes is to make a lot of investor pour money into the project by selling cryptocurrency tokens, and then declaring the project to be bankrupt. This way, the scammers get to retain all the money they have made without having to deliver anything to the investors in return.
White House not explicitly against cryptocurrency
On the face of it, it could seem like the president of the US is against the cryptocurrency industry. However, the previous White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has in the past declared his fondness for cryptocurrencies as a concept. Bannon even made a joke about launching his own cryptocurrency token called the Deplorables Coin. The name was in reference to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton labelling all of Trump’s supporters as ‘deplorable’.