At a recent Ask Me What You Want (AMA) event on Reddit by the US Secret Service, agency officials briefed on their efforts to combat cybercrime, regulate cryptocurrencies, and collaborate with international partners.
When asked about its activities across US borders, particularly in the fight against money laundering, human trafficking and drug trafficking, officials explained that the Secret Service works closely with EUROPOL and has international offices.
The agency said it also provides training, technical assistance and advice to law enforcement around the world in coordination with the U.S. Department of Justice, federal law enforcement and the State Department.
Another area of interest has been the Secret Service's ability to track people through cryptocurrency and the US government's view on crypto regulation.
Authorities acknowledged that funds are traceable via the blockchain, but explained that associating wallets with individuals poses a different challenge. Authorities stressed that while cryptocurrencies initially offered anonymity, applicable laws and judicial processes allow work to be done to identify malicious individuals.
US Authorities Provide Advice to Protect Cryptocurrency Users from Thieves
Regarding the best security advice for cryptocurrency holders, authorities recommended using hardware wallets purchased directly from the manufacturer, rather than third-party websites.
They stressed the importance of users backing up their wallets by typing in their seed phrases and keeping them safe. They cautioned against storing backup seed phrases in email or online storage accounts to prevent theft.
Additionally, users were advised to be cautious when granting access via the API and to protect their API keys to avoid danger and potential loss of funds.
Finally, when asked about the fate of the coins recovered from the thieves, the authorities explained that the coins seized by the Secret Service were eventually returned to the victims by court order.
They stated that the institution does not cash out the seized funds, but ensures that if Bitcoin (BTC) is seized, it is returned to the victims as BTC.
*Not investment advice.