DoJ Targeting Exchanges, Mixers, and DeFi Bridges

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  • The DoJ is targeting non-compliant exchanges, crypto mixers and DeFi bridges
  • A new department will investigate and take down any entities flouting US laws
  • The agency is not bothered about crushing the crypto space

The director of the Department of Justice’s (DoJ) national cryptocurrency enforcement team, Eun Young Choi, has said that the department is targeting crypto exchanges, mixing services and DeFi bridges in its attempts to clamp down further on illicit behavior on digital platforms. The idea behind the increased enforcement is to “send a deterrent message” to businesses that are skirting anti-money laundering or know your customer rules, according to Choi, as well as those who are not investing in solid compliance and risk mitigation procedures.

No Target Too Big

Choi was speaking to the Financial Times about the DoJ’s current targets, and she was in no doubt as to where the agency should be focusing its efforts: companies that commit crimes themselves or allow them to happen. These include non-compliant exchanges and mixing services, which she says are “allowing for all the other criminal actors to easily profit from their crimes and cash out in ways that are obviously problematic to us.”

Choi added that by cracking down on such facilities the DoJ can “have a multiplier effect” and warn other such entities that the US government is coming for them. She added that there is no such thing as being “too big” to be a target for the DoJ, arguing that a crypto company cannot be allowed to flourish because it has flouted US law.

New Division, New Targets

Choi leads a newly established division that targets the unlawful exploitation of digital assets, coinciding with the US, under President Joe Biden’s administration, emerging as one of the most stringent jurisdictions globally regarding cryptocurrencies. Her division will also target DeFi platforms, in particular “chain bridges”, which have seen some of the biggest hacks in crypto history. These are a “pretty significant issue” according to Choi, given that North Korean state-sponsored hackers have emerged as the key facilitators of such actions.