September 28, 2023
By Anjali Kochhar
In response to a surge in illegal activities involving cryptocurrencies, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is taking proactive measures by developing a cutting-edge crypto intelligence tool. Known as the Cryptocurrency Intelligence and Analysis Tool (CIAT), this initiative is spearheaded by the Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, a division of the MHA dedicated to combating cybercrime.
CIAT’s primary function will be to monitor crypto wallet addresses within the dark net, enabling the compilation of detailed transaction records. These records will encompass crucial information such as timestamps, dates, the exchanges utilised, and the nature of services performed. Furthermore, the tool will promptly notify the MHA of any irregular or suspicious crypto activities it detects.
This strategic move comes as a direct response to the escalating prevalence of crypto-related illegal activities in the country. Just this month, a software engineer from India reportedly fell victim to a crypto fraud, losing over $120,000. The engineer had been advised by an online acquaintance to invest in a particular crypto coin, only to find himself unable to retrieve his funds after making the deposit.
In a separate incident in July, authorities apprehended two suspects allegedly involved in a peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto scam in Ujjain, India. The police seized a cache of counterfeit bank accounts, ATM cards, and other fraudulent documents. The suspects were purportedly using counterfeit IDs to deceive users of the Binance P2P platform.
Cointelegraph reached out to the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs for further insight into the CIAT project, but as of now, no immediate response has been received.
India has witnessed a remarkable surge in crypto adoption. On September 12, the nation secured the top spot in the 2023 Global Crypto Adoption Index, a report released by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis. The data revealed that India led in terms of decentralised finance value received and centralised service value received. Nigeria and Thailand closely followed India in the rankings, according to the index.
In taking this proactive step, India aims to safeguard its citizens from the growing threats posed by crypto-related criminal activities, demonstrating a commitment to secure and responsible use of digital assets within its borders.
About the author
Anjali Kochhar covers cryptocurrency stories in India as well as globally. Having been in the field of media and journalism for over three years now, she has developed a sharp news sense and works hard to present information that goes beyond the obvious. She is an avid reader and loves writing on a wide range of subjects.