Author: Syedur Rahman 20 January 2023
Syed Rahman, cryptocurrency specialist at Rahman Ravelli, assesses its chances of success.
The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) is creating the National Cyber Crime Unit Crypto Cell to take a proactive approach to cryptocurrency-related wrongdoing.
The initial team of five officers will identify potential targets for investigation as part of an increased focus on cryptocurrency crime.
As research has shown that cryptocurrency hacks and fraud reached record levels last year, the NCA’s latest move is understandable. But if the NCA’s new cryptocurrency crime team is to be a success, much will depend on the training that is given to its members and the planning of its activities. Taking a proactive approach can require more analysis and strategy than is required when reacting to events.
The NCA will also have to ensure that the Cell receives all the resources it needs to achieve its goals. Regardless of how well trained and drilled its members are, it is hard to see it being a huge success if it is not given a decent-sized budget. The size and expertise of the team and its ability to respond appropriately to queries – particularly those where the perpetrators are outside of the UK’s jurisdiction – will all help determine its success. But such attempts to succeed will need resources.
Like other enforcement agencies, the NCA is facing the task of educating both itself and the public about cryptocurrency crime, and the challenges it presents. For the NCA, those challenges exist from the first stages of an investigation right through to putting a case before a jury to secure a conviction.
There is little doubt that the NCA is looking to meet those challenges. Whether its new team will ensure it achieves this will ultimately be determined by the factors mentioned here.
Syedur Rahman is known for his in-depth experience of serious fraud, white-collar crime and serious crime cases, as well as his expertise in worldwide asset tracing and recovery, international arbitration, civil recovery, cryptocurrency and high-stakes commercial disputes.