April 19, 2024
Law Enforcement Seeks More Crypto Training
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Law Enforcement Seeks More Crypto Training: Report

A survey titled “Tackling Crypto Crime” conducted by TRM Labs reveals that more than 50% of federal agencies currently employ blockchain analytics tools, while only 11% of state agencies do. Involving over 300 U.S. and international law enforcement professionals, 90% of respondents believe their organizations provide crypto training, yet 99% call for increased training.

Of the respondents, 93% were from U.S. law enforcement, with a majority from federal agencies and the remainder from state, county, and local agencies. 40% of their investigations involved cryptocurrency, with an anticipated rise to 51% by 2027. Despite these projections, most law enforcement professionals feel ill-prepared for the increasing challenges posed by cryptocurrency-related offenses.

The survey, administered by an external polling firm from October 18 to November 3, 2023, included respondents with over a year of employment at their present law enforcement organization, having investigated or supervised at least one cryptocurrency-related criminal offense in the previous year.

Notably, over 50% of federal agencies utilize blockchain analytics tools, but only 11% of state agencies do. About 61% of respondents admit to lacking advanced technology to effectively address crypto criminal threats. TRM Labs data indicates that bad actors stole approximately $1.7 billion worth of crypto through hacks between January and November 2023, less than half the amount taken the previous year.

Incidents such as the $87 million crypto asset exploitation on the HTX exchange and Ethereum bridge in November highlight the persistent threats. These events occurred shortly after the unauthorized withdrawals at the crypto exchange Poloniex. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) included four cryptocurrency-related cases in its list of the top 10 cases for 2023.

While 80% of survey participants consider investing in blockchain analytics a “critical” or “high” priority, the report notes that U.S. law enforcement has not fully implemented its plans to educate staff on crypto. Over half of respondents identify a shortage of investigators, expertise, and funding as the primary obstacles for law enforcement to effectively combat crypto crime.

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