The International Revenue Service (IRS) has collaborated with the Ukrainian forces to offer virtual training sessions on tracing blockchain activity and other digital transactions.
More specifically, the criminal investigation division of the IRS has partnered with a blockchain specialist analysis firm named Chainalysis. They have also joined hands with Ukrainian investigators to monitor Russian individuals suspected of criminal activity related to digital currencies.
The IRS has decided to support Ukranian officers’ access to a special Chainalysis tool that can be used to their own advantage. This may give them the upper hand when it comes to tracing blockchain activity.
Some of the most common criminal activities involving cryptocurrency are sanction evaders. Such criminals may use cryptocurrency to quickly shift their assets and avoid the harsh sanctions that Russia has been subjected to.
(The Outside of The IRS Building in Washington. Source: AP News)
It is possible that criminal activities such as money laundering, market manipulation, and tax evasion are taking place.
Furthermore, the IRS has increased its focus on cryptocurrencies by seizing crypto assets that have recently been linked to criminal activity. For example, they helped to recover billions of dollars stolen in the 2016 Bitcoin hack.
The government and lawmakers have been warning people that cryptocurrency can be used to avoid sanctions in other countries. Crypto enthusiasts, on the other hand, have stated that crypto is simply too transparent. To be able to move such large sums of money without being seen would be a hassle.
Because the blockchain is an open ledger that anyone can check, it is nearly impossible to steal large sums of money through cryptocurrency without being easily traced.
In the past, the IRS has also snuck its way into major cryptocurrency companies. For example, they have launched an investigation into Binance. This was done by accusing them of failing to follow anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) controls.
Meanwhile, in the FTX case, the IRS has presented 45 claims totaling $44 billion in unpaid taxes. This is a huge expense.
Overall, the collaboration between the IRS and Ukraine represents a concerted effort. This is done to track and address illicit crypto activities. The main goal is to protect both countries and the world’s financial systems.