Department of Justice announces crypto-focused 'enforcement team'

A senior U.S. Department of Justice official said Wednesday that the department is forming a "National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team" focused on cybercrime and money laundering.

Unveiled during the Aspen Cyber Summit, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said that the goal of the initiative was to "protect consumers."

"We want to strengthen our capacity to dismantle the financeable ecosystem that enables these criminal actors to flourish and to profit from what they're doing," Monaco remarked. Her statement at the Aspen event was live-streamed.

Her comments come just under a year after the DOJ published an "enforcement framework" focused on cryptocurrencies. Since then, the department has expanded its cryptocurrency efforts, focusing on money laundering and ransomware in particular. 

Monaco also said that the DOJ is launching an initiative focused on cyber fraud.