Jessie Liu, partner at Skadden and the former US attorney for the District of Columbia, headed up the team that has prosecuted what some believe is the greatest number of cryptocurrency crimes worldwide — Welcome to Video, Dark Scandals, Helix, North Korea, Hamas/Al Qaeda and ISIS. In this episode, she discusses:

  • how she came to create a Threat Finance Unit that focuses on the intersection of cybercrime that threatened national security
  • what the DOJ’s new cryptocurrency enforcement framework means and what the significance is of the framework 
  • what parts of the framework crypto startups should pay attention to
  • whether the DOJ will continue to act in concert with other agencies, as it did recently with its indictment of four executives at cryptocurrency derivatives exchange BitMEX in conjunction with an enforcement action by the CFTC against the same exchange
  • how DOJ can claim jurisdiction over exchanges located outside the US, on a practical level, go after entities located outside 
  • how the FATF global standards will affect enforcement in the US
  • the DOJ’s stance toward “anonymity-enhanced” cryptocurrencies, or privacy-preserving coins
  • the DOJ’s disagreement that EU’s privacy law, GDPR, can be used by some crypto exchanges to keep the DOJ from obtaining data from those exchanges
  • how willing foreign countries are to coordinate with US law enforcement and whether cryptocurrency criminals could engage in jurisdictional arbitrage


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Episode links: 

Jessie Liu:

Skadden bio:

Press release about cryptocurrency enforcement framework:

Cryptocurrency enforcement framework:

Unchained podcast about FATF rules:

CoinDesk on how the enforcement framework is a warning shot to offshore exchanges:

Links from news recap: