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Top cryptocurrency news: Victorian police to get 'greater power' to seize cryptocurrency assets from criminals

04-Aug-2022 By: Simran Mishra
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Victorian Police in Australia will be given new powers to seize cryptocurrency and digital assets from criminals, as well as compel platforms to hand over information about suspects, in the near future.

According to a statement issued by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on August 2, new laws aimed at combating organized crime in the state were introduced to parliament on Tuesday under the Major Crime and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2022.

In response to the growing use of digital currencies by organized crime, the new bill is expected to give authorities "greater power" to identify and seize digital assets.

The laws will also require crypto exchanges to disclose information to assist with criminal investigations, just like banks would.

Additionally, it will give police greater access to electronic data when executing search warrants and make it simpler for victims of crime to obtain the criminal's forfeited property.

According to sources, Michael Bacina, a digital asset specialist at Piper Alderman, stated that because the Bill's wording has not yet been made public, one of the challenges he sees is legislating for digital assets when it crosses state and federal borders.

Bacina also stated that police will require proper training in the technology of seizure and securing private keys of digital wallets, but that criminals transacting in digital assets provide a valuable tool for police in combating crime, as transactions leave an immutable trail of evidence on a public ledger that is extremely difficult to alter after the fact.

Anthony Carbines, Victorian Minister for Police, acknowledged that criminals' strategies are evolving, noting that we must be equally quick in empowering our police to respond to new ways of offending.

Earlier this year, a popular cryptocurrency monitoring tool estimated that as of early 2022, wallet addresses associated with an illicit activity held at least $10 billion in cryptocurrency.

However, Bacina pointed out that the analytics company also reports that the proportion of illicit usage in the cryptocurrency asset ecosystem is at its lowest level, so further reducing the illicit usage of digital assets can only instill more confidence in the ecosystem for digital assets and cryptocurrencies.

Read also: Top cryptocurrency news: New York Attorney General Wants to Aid Investors Who Tricked by Cryptocurrency Platforms

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