Canadian Federal Police Force Investigating Bitcoin to Prevent Crimes

Canadian federal and national police force the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is examining ways of preventing and solving digital currency-related financial crimes.

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Canadian Federal Police Force Investigating Bitcoin to Prevent Crimes

Canadian federal and national police force the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) is examining ways of preventing and solving digital currency-related financial crimes.

An email correspondence between the police force and Canada's financial intelligence unit the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) was obtained by media outlet GlobalNews.ca under the Access to Information Act.

Back in Mai 2013, the RCMP's technological crime division contacted the anti-money laundering agency regarding an on-going project on digital currencies. The emails read:

"I am running a major project on our end and my management would like your organization in as a possible stakeholder. [...]The project is in relation to Bitcoins and their manipulation/tracking etc."

The initiative aims to "identify investigative methodology, tools and techniques to prevent and solve crimes involving cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin," told a Mounties' spokesperson to the press. 

In the last 2 years, Canada has seen its Bitcoin startup landscape flourish, essentially due to the lack of regulation on cryptocurrencies' use and related businesses.

In late October 2013, Vancouver welcomed the first Bitcoin ATM, a two-way Robocoin BTM located in a coffee shop. In June, Canadian startup Quadriga CX announced 30 more BTMs to come. Retailers have also started to embrace Bitcoin, with prominent US online electronics merchant Newegg announcing in late August it has expanded its Bitcoin payment option to its Canadian portal.

- first Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver 

However, Canada has long been considering a regulatory framework for digital currencies and took its first step on June 19, when the Parliament approved the first official national law regulating Bitcoin.

In August, the Canadian anti-money laundering agency FINTRAC announced it was working on a regulation plan for Money Services Businesses (MSBs) dealing in virtual currencies. The rules are likely to come to force in 2015. 

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