Cybercrime has become a hugely profitable activity since the advent of cryptocoins. Being untraceable and private, the coins have allowed many criminals to go unpunished and crimes, unsolved. Recently, the European commission have announced that it will be launching directives to allow cybercriminals to be prosecuted even if they make use of cryptocurrencies.
“It has become clear that those rules no longer reflect today’s realities and do not sufficiently address new challenges and technological developments such as virtual currencies and mobile payments.”
Currently many outdated laws and directives fail to incorporate the value of digital currencies allowing criminals to get off with lesser punishments as the activity wouldn’t be classified as a cash fraud as no ‘money’ was involved. Many have cited that this effort will take a long while to develop attributing the difficulty many governments and organizations have encountered attempting to regulate the blockchain.
“The proposed directive will strengthen the ability of law enforcement authorities to tackle this form of crime by expanding the scope of the offences related to information systems to all payment transactions, including transactions through virtual currencies.”
To conclude, the European commission is looking to set up laws and punishments for those engaging in cryptocoin crime. This includes many common occurrences such as theft. More recently the number of bitcoin and cryptocoin being used as payment for ransoms has increased significantly as many hackers tack advantage of the anonymity provided y the technology. The legislation proposed by the commission could finally help deter cybercriminals all over the continent. Currently no date has been set for a definite introduction or draft of directives.
You can read the full document released by the European Commission from Brussels here :