The chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has disclosed that cryptocurrencies are now the new favourite currency for criminal activities.
Bawa said cryptocurrency aids illegal financial transactions, and such usage poses a threat to global economy.
He stated this during the 38th Cambridge international symposium, held on Monday.
He said cyber criminals now transact in bitcoin and Ethereum to hide their identity with the two most popular and safest cryptocurrencies in the world.
The EFCC boss said developed countries are not immune to the change in strategy by cyber criminals.
This was contained in a statement released by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesperson, on Tuesday.
Bawa said, “Economic crimes, which are largely illegal acts committed for private gain, affect the vital structures of global economies, causing significant damage to the global financial system and depriving developing nations of the needed resources for sustainable development.”
He added that, “Criminals now elect to transact or receive illegal monies (such as ransom money) for cyber-attacks in cryptocurrencies with Bitcoin and Ethereum as the most commonly used medium of these exchanges.”
He said the stability of global financial institutions is threatened by the proliferation of cyber-crimes. Bawa explained that victims of cyber crime have paid more for the criminal acts than the perpetrators themselves, “the perpetrators of acts and not the victims pay for their crimes”.
In the statement, Bawa said, “As the victims of crime continue to suffer globally from the effects of financial crimes, either directly or indirectly as part of a social system, the determination of who pays or who should pay becomes a critical measure of the criminal justice system in place.”
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are currently restricted in Nigeria by the country’s central bank, and the regulator is planning on introducing government-backed digital currency.
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