The now evident intertwining between ransomware and cryptocurrency is under the magnifying glass of the US government. To offer the right for a heavy intervention of the legislative power was recently the letter presented by two senators to Congress, in order to be able to have clarifications on the law that provides for taxation on transactions crypto.
If the initial intent seems to be shared, many important players in the sector fear that an intervention of this type could turn into a real Trojan horse to establish iron state control over a sector that instead has decentralization among its programmatic cornerstones.
The government's hard fist against illegal activities
The Washington government seems intent on using its hard fist to crack down on the illegal activities that are thriving around digital money. To testify this orientation is the sanction against theexchange of Chatex cryptocurrencies and the network that supports it by the Treasury Department.
The provision resulted in the confiscation of funds amounting to over six million dollars. It was then the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to explain that the sanction is the direct consequence of the fact that the accused persons facilitated financial transactions related to the ransomware.
The statements of OFAC
In particular, OFAC clarified that the investigations conducted revealed an incontrovertible fact: beyond half of the transactions examined are clearly related to illegal activities. However, establishing one possible connection with the darknet market, that is what characterizes the part of the web where the trafficking of human beings, weapons and drugs takes place.
It should also be remembered that the same body, on the past 21 September, had provided for sanctions Suex OTC, another platform dedicated to the exchange of cryptocurrencies. The motivation is identical, i.e. suspected illegal activities connected to the ransomware. To make the news even more relevant, after a month and a half, is the fact that Suex OTC is directly linked to chatex.
The ransomware problem is increasingly pressing
The problem with ransomware is increasingly pressing. Indeed, it is enough to read the report prepared by Sophos, a company active in information security, entitled State of Ransomware 2021, to better understand its real extent.
The research was attended by 5400 IT executives linked to midsize organizations in thirty countries of America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
If the percentage of companies affected increased from 51% in 2020 to 37% in 2021, the trend is explained by the fact that the attacks are now more targeted. With much more damage than in the past, so much so that the consequent repair costs have more than doubled in the same period of time. The final result is a greater propensity to pay the ransom on the part of companies, with an average payment now attested to dollars 170.404.
The fears of the crypto scene
The problem of ransomware, therefore, is extremely serious and the law enforcement activities implemented at the government level are completely logical.
The fear of a large number of players in the crypto scene, however, is that these activities could be used by politics to establish more and more strict control over a sector that is seen by many with evident annoyance.
As witnessed by the attacks on digital assets by Janet Yellen at the beginning of the year. This was followed by other not exactly benevolent opinions from representatives of the institutional world, which seemed to many the signs of a real storm coming.