As concerns about the use of cryptocurrencies to facilitate crime continue to mount, the UK's financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), is planning to bring in Bitcoin experts to train its staff on how to spot illegal blockchain activities.
According to a recent report by The Telegraph, the FCA intends to spend a whopping £500,000 on consultants to access a blockchain analytics platform that will educate its officials on how to discover illegal transactions on decentralized networks.
The FCA is worried that these criminals are always one step ahead of law enforcement agencies because of the level of anonymity that crypto offers users.
However, by learning first-hand how to analyze blockchain data from experts in the crypto space, FCA staff can easily spot any illegal activity carried out using cryptocurrencies.
As per the report, this new development comes as part of the FCA's efforts to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing, which have been on the increase due to the use of cryptocurrencies.
In July, the UK Metropolitan Police revealed that it had seized about £180 million worth of crypto alleged to have been used in money laundering.
To protect the UK's financial system, the FCA had mandated crypto firms in the region to submit an annual financial crimes report earlier in March.
FCA Issues Stern Warning About Crypto
In recent months, the FCA has doubled down on its warnings about crypto investing due to its connection to financial crimes, in addition to its highly speculative nature.
Earlier in July, the financial regulator had announced that it would be spending £11 million in a digital marketing campaign geared toward educating young investors about the risks associated with crypto.
Seeing as the vast majority of crypto businesses in the UK are not licensed by the FCA, the regulator is wary of unsuspecting investors falling victim to crypto scams.
In June, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, came under the FCA's regulatory spotlight as it warned that Binance was not authorized to provide financial services to customers in the UK.
However, two months later, the FCA published an update on its tussle with Binance, stating that the crypto exchange had "complied with all aspects of the requirements."