The United States Senate is set to investigate the role of cryptocurrencies in ransomware on multiple fronts, with the market facing further regulatory attention.
The United States Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee announced on Tuesday that it would be investigating the use of cryptocurrencies in ransomware attacks on multiple fronts.
Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), chair of the committee, pointed out that he would be investigating how digital currencies can embolden cybercriminals and what the government can do to retaliate.
“The increased use of cryptocurrencies as the preferred method of payment in ransomware attacks shows that cybercriminals believe they can commit attacks without being held accountable,” the senator added.
The investigation is expected to look at the current oversight efforts and regulations relating to cryptocurrencies. The committee will also make recommendations to lawmakers and federal agencies on how Americans can benefit from cryptocurrencies and avoid the risks involved.
The senator stated that he intends to make recommendations that would ensure criminal organisations stop assaulting American networks and communities nationally. The launch of this investigation comes barely a week after the Senate Judiciary Committee revealed that it would hold a ransomware hearing.
Cryptocurrencies have been getting regulatory attention in the United States and other parts of the world in recent months. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently told a presidential working group on financial markets to come up with recommendations on how to regulate stablecoins.
In Europe, the French government has recommended that the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) should be tasked with regulating the cryptocurrency market in the continent.
The massive growth recorded by the crypto market over the past few years has drawn the attention of regulators. Currently, the crypto market remains largely unregulated in most parts of the world.