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This article was published on November 13, 2019

Cops to dream up ways of ending Bitcoin crime at major Australian conference

It's big brain time

Cops to dream up ways of ending Bitcoin crime at major Australian conference

More than 200 police officers and legal professionals are gathering in Australia this week to put their heads together and find ways of ending cryptocurrency-based crime.

Law enforcers from all over the world are set to attend the National Proceeds of Crime Conference, in Brisbane this week, according to an Australian Federal Police (AFP) statement.

The event was last held in 2009, so I guess police forces are due an update. Especially considering that Bitcoin wasn’t even a thing before 2009.

Delegates will hear from representatives from the Australian Federal Police, United States Department of Justice, Singapore Police Force, New Zealand Police, Australian Taxation Office, and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

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“Advances in technology, like cryptocurrency and encrypted communications have changed the way criminals acquire and hide their assets,” said Justine Gough AFP Acting Assistant Commissioner.

“Seizing and removing the profits of crime is one of the most effective capabilities we have in impacting organized criminal networks,” she added.

Key issues to be covered include: the dark web, trends in money laundering, and the monetization of cybercrime.

It seems Australia has grown acutely aware of, and increasingly keen on putting an end to, cryptocurrency crime. And it’s not entirely surprising.

The southern hemisphere nation has had its fair share of crime headlines where cryptocurrency has been the focus.

Back in July, a pair of Australian retirees lost their $900,000 pension fund in a cryptocurrency-focused investment scam.

Australia has also seen the faces of its celebrities used in attempts to con people out of money by promoting heinous Bitcoin investment opportunities.

Those are just two examples of a series of criminal activities which saw Australians conned out of an estimated $14.76 million in the first seven months of this year.

With all this in mind, it seems logical to assume that we’ll hear about more crackdowns on cryptocurrency crime in Australia over the next year.

Perhaps the AFP is taking notice after it saw a 20-fold profit from seizing Bitcoin in 2016? Perhaps not.

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