Back in 2008, Obama’s administration formed a task force as a remedial and preventive measure for the likes of 2007-08 financial crisis. Donald Trump’s decision to create a new version of the task force will provide greater autonomy and directive control to his government.
This new task force under Trump’s administration is led by the Justice Department with agencies like the Federal Trade Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as member bodies.
In the wake of the ‘cryptocurrency revolution,’ the Justice Department, the SEC, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have actively been targeting their resources to deal with Bitcoin and crypto frauds. Given how frequently government officials have warned public about the dangers and threats involved in crypto-trading, the decision to focus on ‘cyber fraud’ and ‘digital currency fraud’ (as cited in the group’s executive order), does not come entirely uninformed.
During a press briefing in Washington, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein expressed that “fraud committed by companies and their employees has a devastating impact on American citizens in the financial markets, the healthcare sector, and elsewhere.” He also believes that this will incentivize firms to avoid “piling on,” and to further cooperate with the task force to make the digital space safer.
These statements are in line with what he said earlier in May 2018 regarding the impact of implementing several enforcement actions on firms. “(Multiple prosecutions) can deprive a company of the benefits of certainty and finality ordinarily available through a full and final settlement,” believes Rosenstein.
Given that 80% of US respondents in a 2017 survey considered cybersecurity to be extremely critical, this could prove to be an essential step by Trump’s administration. Apart from the conventional list of crimes that includes money laundering, terrorist financing, and scams against seniors, the new task force will also focus on digital assets and tokens.
With the market cap of cryptocurrencies soaring at $249 trillion (as of 13th July 2018), existing and potential investors might be able to breathe a sigh of relief with such measures and protection. The inclusion of digital tokens in the focus areas of this task force clearly indicates the administration’s consideration of these currencies as one of the biggest threats to the public.