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Trump administration doubles down against crypto fraud

New task force led by CFPB, other government regulators

The future of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is far from certain, but that hasn’t stopped people from investing in it or even using it to make major real estate purchases.

Bitcoin went from being valued at mere cents just a few years ago, to surpassing $17,000 at one point last year, to a value of just over $6,000 today.

But these crazy market fluctuations have not stopped homebuyers and sellers from using it as a form of payment for real estate purchases, as seen here, here and here.

But fluctuating values aren’t the only danger cryptocurrency users have to be aware of. Earlier this year, for example, the Securities and Exchange Commission halted a $600 million alleged cryptocurrency scam that aimed to revolutionize banking.

But now, President Donald Trump is setting up a new task force to combat crypto crime.

Lately, the SEC, the Justice Department and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have been placing more attention and resources on scams surrounding digital currencies, warning investors about the potential dangers, according to a Bloomberg article.

Trump’s new task force will be led by the Justice Department and includes agencies such as the SEC, FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to an executive order the president signed Wednesday.

The task force will be required to “provide guidance for the investigation and prosecution of cases involving fraud on the government, the financial markets and consumers, including cyber-fraud and other fraud targeting the elderly, service members and veterans and other members of the public.”

The task force is also commissioned with reporting to the president policies and regulations the federal government could enforce in order to prevent digital currency fraud.

The new task force will replace the task force set up by former President Barack Obama after the financial crisis back in 2009, and provides the force with a more direct focus.

“Fraud committed by companies and their employees has a devastating impact on American citizens in the financial markets, the health care sector and elsewhere,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said.

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