The White House on Dec. 6 released the first-ever United States Strategy on Countering Corruption, which among other steps aims to utilize the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) newly established National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team to hold corrupt actors accountable.

The new corruption strategy follows President Biden’s National Security Study Memorandum from June 3, which established the fight against corruption as a core U.S. national security interest.

The strategy organizes the U.S. government’s corruption efforts under five pillars: modernizing, coordinating, and resourcing U.S. government efforts to better fight corruption; curbing illicit finance; holding corrupt actors accountable; preserving and strengthening the multilateral anti-corruption architecture; and improving diplomatic engagement and leveraging foreign assistance resources to advance policy objectives.

Under the pillar of holding corrupt actors accountable, the White House will enhance enforcement efforts through the use of the DoJ’s cryptocurrency task force.

“DoJ will utilize a newly established task force, the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, to focus specifically on complex investigations and prosecutions of criminal misuses of cryptocurrency, particularly crimes committed by virtual currency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, and money laundering infrastructure actors,” the White House’s strategy says.

The DoJ launched the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team in October, which Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said was a result of the DoJ’s comprehensive cyber review.

Monaco explained that with the rise of ransomware attacks, cryptocurrency and ransomware are “inextricably linked,” as criminals are getting paid through cryptocurrency because of the extra anonymity those technologies provide.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.