Colorado Now Accepts Cryptocurrency As Payment For Taxes. FBI Launches Digital Currency Crimes Unit.

Colorado accepts cryptocurrency as payment for taxes. FBI launches digital currency crime unit.

The state of Colorado announced that it would accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment for taxes. On Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis unveiled the plan for Colorado to welcome cryptocurrency payments.

“We expect by this summer to accept crypto for all of our state tax-related purposes,” Polis explained. “And then we plan to roll that out across all state government for things — could be as simple as a driver’s license or hunting license.”

“It’s important that people know from a state perspective, we cannot be in the business of having exposure to a market where securities, including cryptocurrencies, fluctuate,” Polis continued. “In our case, we wouldn’t hold it as bitcoin, as ethereum.”

“When we talk about accepting crypto for payments, they would be converted back into dollars for our purposes. So there’d be an intermediary there that would then convert them,” Polis added. “Just like accepting a credit card, but with a much lower transaction cost than a credit card.”

Business Insider reported. “Colorado is one of 20 or so US states that are considering crypto legislation of some kind, as crypto adoption continues to grow across the US.”

Polis has been one of the few politicians who have welcomed cryptocurrencies with open arms – he even accepted bitcoin donations to his political campaign during his re-election to Congress way back in 2014.

In 2019, Polis created a new position for a Blockchain Solution Architect — the first of its kind in the state.

Meanwhile on the federal level, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday the creation of a crime unit for blockchain analysis and virtual asset seizure.

The FBI launched the National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team (NCET) – which will investigate crimes involving crypto.

“The NCET will identify, investigate, support and pursue the department’s cases involving the criminal use of digital assets, with a particular focus on virtual currency exchanges, mixing and tumbling services, infrastructure providers, and other entities that are enabling the misuse of cryptocurrency and related technologies to commit or facilitate criminal activity,” the Department of Justice said in a statement. “The NCET will set strategic priorities regarding digital asset technologies, identify areas for increased investigative and prosecutorial focus, and lead the department’s efforts to coordinate with domestic and international law enforcement partners, regulatory agencies and private industry to combat the criminal use of digital assets. Finally, the NCET will enhance the Criminal Division’s existing efforts to provide support and training to federal, state, local, and international law enforcement to build capacity to aggressively investigate and prosecute serious crimes involving cryptocurrency and digital assets in the United States and around the world.”

“I think we are sending a message that cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies should not be considered a safe haven,” said Deputy Attorney General of the United States Lisa Monaco at the Munich Cyber Security Conference.

The new unit will be headed by longtime prosecutor Eun Young Choi.

“With the rapid innovation of digital assets and distributed ledger technologies, we have seen a rise in their illicit use by criminals who exploit them to fuel cyberattacks and ransomware and extortion schemes; traffic in narcotics, hacking tools and illicit contraband online; commit thefts and scams; and launder the proceeds of their crimes,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The NCET will serve as the focal point for the department’s efforts to tackle the growth of crime involving these technologies. Eun Young is an accomplished leader on cyber and cryptocurrency issues, and I am pleased that she will continue her service as the NCET’s inaugural Director, spearheading the department’s efforts in this area.”

The crackdown on cryptocurrency crimes follows the Justice Department’s largest-ever financial seizure over the arrest of a couple that allegedly laundered bitcoins valued over $4.5 billion.

[Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels]