The Federal Bureau of Investigation is busy when it comes to cryptocurrencies — Kyle Armstrong, a supervisory special agent, said at a conference this week that the agency has 130 open cases related to crypto.
Bloomberg, citing the comments Armstrong made at a digital asset industry conference in New York, reported Armstrong said the cases tied to cryptocurrencies include everything from human trafficking to illicit drug sales. Some of the cases also have to do with kidnapping and ransomware, noted Bloomberg. “There are thousands of cases in the bureau, so it is a small sliver at this point,” Armstrong said at the Crypto Evolved conference. He noted that the FBI has seen an increase in illegal activity that is funded by digital payments. Armstrong said that when it comes to illegal drugs and particularly the opioid epidemic, the dark web has enabled an increase in drug abuse, with 10 percent of drug users around the globe making their purchases that way. The FBI has also seen an uptick in extortion scams related to digital tokens on the southwest border of the U.S.
The comments on the part of the FBI agent come at the same time that Facebook has decided to relax its policy on allowing cryptocurrency ads on its platform, which is home to more than 2 billion users around the world. In a blog post, Rob Leathern, Facebook’s director of product management, said the social media giant is refining its approach to allowing crypto ads on its platform after it announced in January it was banning cryptocurrency ads that promoted binary options and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Leathern said at the time that Facebook made it clear the policy was broad on purpose until it figured out what were the deceptive and misleading advertising practices.
In the past few months, he said the company looked at the best way to refine the policy to enable some ads and, at the same time, keep users safe. The result: Cryptocurrency ads can run on the platform, but Facebook is banning ads that promote binary options and ICOs.