U.S. President Donald Trump is prioritising an agency reshuffle. Trump’s budget proposal for FY 2021, released Monday, seeks to expand the Treasury Department’s cryptocurrency oversight by returning the United States Secret Service, now a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to its jurisdiction.
The reshuffling would “create new efficiencies” in the Secret Service’s investigation of criminal acts involving cryptocurrencies and the financial marketplace, the executive report reads. It will also give Treasury more power to “disrupt terrorist financing, hold rogue states and human rights abusers accountable, and detect and deter financial crimes.”
The Secret Service, established for the dual purpose of protecting the president and combat currency counterfeiting, was housed inside Treasury until 2003 when it was moved to the newly created Homeland Security department. The Trump administration aims to restore it to Treasury in part to enhance efforts to fight cybercrime, which has grown increasingly complex since crypto-assets entered the international financial marketplace.
According to the budget document, technological advancements in recent decades, such as cryptocurrencies and the increasing interconnectedness of the international financial marketplace, have resulted in more complex criminal organisations and revealed stronger links between financial and electronic crimes and the financing of terrorists and rogue state actors.
At Treasury, the Secret Service’s cryptocurrency investigations could fit with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a money-laundering watchdog that monitors cryptocurrency-related violations of the Banking Secrecy Act.
DHS, the Secret Service and branches within the Treasury Department have already spent millions of dollars on blockchain analytics, tapping Chainalysis to provide software tools and services.