White House weighs broader oversight of cryptocurrency market

Representations of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, Ripple, Litecoin are placed on PC motherboard in this illustration taken, June 29, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

WASHINGTON, Oct 8 (Reuters) – The White House is considering a wide ranging oversight of the cryptocurrency market to combat the growing threat of ransomware and other cyber crime, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

“The NSC and NEC are coordinating across the interagency to look at ways we can ensure that cryptocurrency and other digital assets are not used to prop up bad actors, including ransomware criminals,” the White House National Security Council spokeswoman said.

The oversight could include an executive order, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday. The spokeswoman did not comment on whether an executive order will be part of such oversight.

Ransom software works by encrypting victims’ data. Typically hackers will offer the victim a key in return for cryptocurrency payments that can run into hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden said top U.S. national security advisers will gather officials from 30 countries this month with plans to combat the growing threat of ransomware and other cyber crime.

An online session hosted by the White House National Security Council will also be aimed at “improving law enforcement collaboration” on issues like “the illicit use of cryptocurrency,” Biden had said.

Reporting by Nandita Bose;
Editing by Sandra Maler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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