Police are Losing Cybercrime Experts to the Crypto Industry, says NPCC

The United Kingdom’s National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) claims that it’s losing cybercrime experts at 3 to 4 times the rate of the rest of policing. The crypto industry appears to be largely responsible for this, where major firms are poaching these professionals with offers of far greater pay.

The Crypto-Cop Migration

As Bloomberg reports, both cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis are among the companies paying big money to employ ex-police officers.

As a Coinbase spokesperson explained, such experts “can play an integral role” in helping to keep customers’ funds safe, and establishing their trust in the crypto economy.

Binance – the world’s largest crypto exchange – also tapped experts from both the Financial Conduct Authority and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority last week. The hires are meant to ensure the firm’s regulatory and sanctions compliance around the globe since politicians are increasingly leery of crypto’s role in illegal activity.

It doesn’t help the NPCC that the industry’s leaders are highly profitable. Binance’s CEO, for example, is now one of the richest men on Earth. As such, they can afford to offer highly attractive salaries that pull cybersecurity experts away from policing.

“The loss of experienced cyber officers and staff is a significant problem for us,” said Andrew Gould, head of the NPCC’s cybercrime unit. “Their skills are in high demand in the private sector so we can see them doubling or tripling their pay which is why they go.”

According to NPCC estimates, about 15 individuals from prominent backgrounds in policing and law enforcement now work for big crypto firms. This number is expected to rise over the next 12 to 18 months.

“Whilst we don’t begrudge them a well-deserved pay rise operationally we can’t afford to lose such highly skilled staff at that rate,” Gould added.

Crypto’s Potential for Crime

Chainalysis has found that while volumes of illicit crypto transactions are rising, their share of total on-chain transfers is falling over time. Defi apps are currently the most preferred methods for criminal actors to launder money in the industry.

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Ransomware crimes were also fairly popular to conduct with crypto, through which at least $600M were stolen from victims in 2021. Since crypto transactions are irreversible and pseudonymous, they present a major advantage for blackmailers compared to traditional methods.


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