UK’s National Crime Agency Seeks to Set Up Specialized Team to Combat Cryptocurrency Scams and Fraud
The United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) is taking a proactive stance against the rising threat of cryptocurrency scams and fraud.
In response to the increasing attempts by bad actors to deceive crypto investors, the NCA has announced plans to establish a specialized cryptocurrency and virtual assets team dedicated to countering these illicit activities.
In a recent post, the NCA said it aims to recruit six individuals who will form the core of the new team.
The team will focus on investigating crypto-related crimes and will be positioned either within the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) or the Digital Asset Team.
“The role will support existing and new investigations where specialist cryptocurrency experience is required along with taking a proactive lead in identifying targets for further development,” the post read.
The key responsibilities of the team members will include providing specialized expertise in cryptocurrency investigations, identifying potential targets for further development, conducting blockchain forensic investigations, and analyzing relevant materials.
NCA Issues Recruitment Notice as UK Pushes For Regulation
The UK has been actively working towards creating a regulated environment that fosters the growth of the crypto ecosystem while protecting users from fraudulent activities.
In line with this objective, the NCA has issued several recruitment notices throughout 2023, seeking crypto investigators at various levels.
Back in July, the NCA revealed that it is hiring two blockchain investigators for its newly-formed digital assets team within the Complex Financial Crime Team (CFCT) to tackle crypto crimes.
Coinbase, one of the prominent cryptocurrency exchanges, has also expressed its focus on the UK and Europe.
In August 2023, Coinbase confirmed its serious commitment to the region amidst the introduction of the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation.
The company recognized the UK as one of its fastest-growing user markets and acknowledged the significant developments taking place in Europe as the region prepares for a transformative shift in how it utilizes and perceives digital currencies.
UK Ramps Up Regulatory Efforts
The UK has been among the countries that have ramped up regulatory efforts following some high-profile bankruptcies last year.
Earlier this year, the country officially passed legislation to regulate cryptocurrencies and stablecoins as part of its broader financial regulatory reforms post-Brexit.
The law, dubbed the Financial Services and Markets bill, will grant regulators the authority to establish a tailored framework for the digital asset sector, supporting crypto’s “safe adoption in the UK.”
Key updates include exchanges providing clear warnings to customers about the risks associated with crypto investments.
Marketing materials must be fair, transparent, and not misleading. Additionally, a 24-hour cooling-off period for new customers is required.
Last week, the FCA said that it has issued more than 200 alerts against firms suspected of illegally promoting cryptoassets since the introduction of the new rules.