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Europol Gamifies Cryptocurrency Crime Prevention

Europol trained its members on cryptocurrency-related crime at a conference last week, announcing the development of a new game.

The cross-jurisdictional law enforcement organization claimed that over 300 experts in cryptocurrency, from both the police and private sector, attended its headquarters in The Hague for the region’s largest conference of its kind last week.

The aim was to share best practice and look at new partnership-building opportunities to combat the growth in cybercrime linked to digital currencies, as well as techniques for recovering virtual assets stolen by hackers.

At the show, Europol announced the development of a new “cryptocurrency tracing game” developed in partnership with CENTRIC (Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime Research).

Set to launch in October, the unnamed title will be the first “law enforcement training opportunity” to use gamification techniques to train officers on cryptocurrency and investigation.

“It will allow law enforcement officers to get hands-on training and advice on tracing cryptocurrencies in criminal investigations,” according to Europol.

The news comes as the popularity of illicit cryptocurrency mining appears to be waning among the cybercrime community – at least in terms of attacks on consumers.

Consumer detections of cryptojacking dropped to almost zero in Q1, thanks in part to the decision by Coinhive to shut down its operations, although attacks against businesses continue to rise, especially in APAC, Malwarebytes said last month.

Meanwhile, attacks on cryptocurrency firms continue unabated. Just last week, hackers made off with nearly $9.7m in virtual coins after a successful attack on digital wallet provider GateHub.

Among the experts at the Europol conference were representatives from: Binance, BitBay, Bitcoin.de, Bitfinex, BitFlyer Europe, Bitnovo, Bitonic, Bitpanda, BitPay, Bitstamp, CEX, Coinbase, Coinfloor, Coinhouse, Coinpayments, CoinsPaid, Ledger, Litebit, LocalBitcoins, OKCoin, Shapeshift, SpectroCoin, Tether and Xapo.

They shared best practices on implementing Know Your Customer (KYC) policies and risk-based approaches to suspicious transactions, according to Europol.

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