Binance has assembled a specialised team to educate law enforcement personnel on the fundamentals of cryptocurrencies.
Combating crypto crime begins with dispelling the many myths that have developed about it. An example is a notion that bitcoin transactions are untraceable and anonymous, and that the blockchain sector does not care enough to investigate or prevent criminal activity.
Both are false, according to Matthew Price, director of intelligence and investigations for the Americas at Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world.
“There is a widespread misconception that exchanges don’t care, that crypto is the Wild West, and that no one wants to help with law authorities,” Price told Decrypt. “This is obviously wrong.”
Price, a former IRS agent who previously served as a CIA targeting officer, is one of much recent government hires to join Binance’s expanding investigations team, alongside former IRS special agent Tigran Gambaryan, who is now Binance’s global director of intelligence and investigations.
When Price and Gambaryan worked for the government, they frequently shared information with cryptocurrency exchanges, including Binance, to combat crypto-related fraud.
Now that they’re on the inside, they and their colleagues are training law enforcement agencies all around the globe on how to combat crypto-related crimes, including as money laundering, hacking by nation states, and ransomware.
Binance has sponsored seminars on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology for law enforcement in the United States, Europe, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, the Philippines, Singapore, and Sweden, with upcoming sessions in Columbia and Mexico.
As a former law enforcement officer, Price finds it gratifying to see this level of collaboration between the public and private sectors.
Crypto exchanges and law enforcement are not resting on their laurels despite the fact that the quantity of cryptocurrency-based crime has decreased by around 15% so far this year due to a bear market.
Price said that criminals are “constantly seeking the most effective methods to do their job,” and the fact that bitcoin streamlines and promotes cross-border transactions is a double-edged sword.