Australian Police roll out Bitcoin, Crypto-Crime unit

Sahana Kiran
Source – Unsplash

The fact that adoption and regulations go hand in hand has been widely accepted. Bitcoin isn’t as old as fiat or the internet. While law enforcement had just begun getting used to cybercrime, crypto-related crime came as a whole new chapter. The world has witnessed an array of arrests pertaining to the crypto industry over the last couple of years.

The Australian Federal Police [AFP] were assured that crypto-related crimes would only surge from here on considering the growing popularity of the industry. Therefore, the law enforcement agency went on to roll out a unit specifically for the industry.

According to recent reports, the person behind the process of confiscating criminal assets at AFP, Stefan Jerga pointed out that there has been a notable surge in crimes related to cryptocurrencies.

Scams and hacks have become more than common in the crypto industry. The crypto industry has grown immensely in value as well as popularity. Banking on the same, criminals have targeted several Bitcoin businesses. Australian authorities alone have been confiscating millions of dollars worth of crypto.

The Australian police auctioned off a staggering $13 million worth of Bitcoin back in 2016. It is important to remember that the AFP established a criminal confiscation command in 2020. The task force then succeeded in recovering $600 million in confiscated money. However, it was allegedly anticipated that this goal would be met by 2025.

The increasing crypto-related crime rate is the reason behind AFP’s latest move, Jerga affirmed. He even noted that this team would witness growth in the future.

Crypto crimes in Australia

Back in 2018, there were 5,011 reports of crypto crimes. This witnessed a 67 percent surge in 2020 when the number of reports surged to 9,689. The pandemic then spiked the crypto crime rate in Australia by 172 percent.

According to another report, criminal activities surrounding crypto took a dainty hit as it dropped from 0.50 to 0.45 percent in 2022. This could be in light of Bitcoin’s plummeting price.

While Bitcoin continues to trade below $20K, hackers and scammers could be looking at other mediums to make quick hefty cash.