The NCA has called for regulation of technology that helps hide transactions that might otherwise be traceable on the blockchain.
Gary Cathcart, head of financial investigations at the NCA, believes that cryptocurrency mixing services like CoinJoin can be used by criminals to disguise the origin of cryptocurrency by forming a transaction from data from multiple participants.
“They can be used to provide a stratification service by mixing criminal cash, hiding a control trail – similar to how criminals can use the cash business to legitimize money through the banking system”, Cathcart said.
The NCA requires cryptocurrency-mixing services to comply with the money laundering law (AML), conduct customer checks (KYS), and track the exchange of funds on their platforms.
Late last year, the U.S. government created the Cryptocurrency Law Enforcement Task Force, which is mandated to oversee crimes committed with the support of cryptocurrency exchanges, mixers and other market participants. A month before the working group was created, the U.S. and U.K. governments agreed to join forces to combat ransomware and the illegal use of digital assets. CoinJoin, a transaction-mixing service that is part of the Wasabi Wallet, recently began blocking addresses on the Bitcoin network suspected of criminal activity.