The Justice Department said Wednesday that it's forming a new enforcement team to go after "criminal actors" using cryptocurrencies and related services.
The national cryptocurrency enforcement team will focus on "combating misuse of cryptocurrency" marketplaces and other systems which have been used by criminals to "launder or hide their criminal proceeds," Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said in a speech at the Aspen Cyber Summit.
"We want to strengthen our capacity to dismantle the financial ecosystem that enables these criminal actors to flourish," she said.
The growth of crypto and related uses of blockchain technologies has also led to an uptick in the use of cryptocurrencies for ransomware, money laundering and other criminal operations.
In June, the Justice Department and the FBI announced that it had recovered $2.3 million in bitcoin ransom paid to DarkSide, the criminal group that hacked Colonial Pipeline.
Monaco also announced a separate initiative to punish government contractors and other companies receiving federal funds that don't properly disclose data breaches.