SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TRM Labs, the leader in blockchain intelligence solutions, today announced the launch of Beacon Network, the first public-private communications network for Web3 incident response. The network connects law enforcement investigators to cryptocurrency exchanges and other Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) following critical incidents such as crypto hacks, increasing the likelihood that crypto users can recover funds that were illicitly stolen from them. The Beacon Network enables faster and more secure communication between incident response teams by providing verified touchpoints directly through the TRM Forensics interface. Members of the network include crypto platforms from around the world, with Binance, Circle, and Bittrex among the early adopters.
Data from TRM reveals that 2022 was a record year for crypto hacks, with over $3.7 billion stolen. After a hack, attackers usually act quickly to liquidate the crypto by sending the stolen crypto to an exchange or other withdrawal point. Crucially, this time often presents the best opportunity for law enforcement to freeze and recover stolen funds, highlighting the importance of exchanges being alerted to the illicit origin of funds before the withdrawal occurs.
Until now, financial crime investigators have relied on slow, manual methods to identify relevant contacts on crypto platforms and notify them of illicit fund inflows. With the Beacon Network, law enforcement users who track the flow of funds in TRM’s software can immediately contact a verified point of contact at an exchange to notify them of an illicit deposit, allowing the exchange to freeze. funds or stop further withdrawals.
The Beacon Network is a collaborative partnership open to law enforcement, financial intelligence units (FIUs), and virtual asset service providers (VASPs) worldwide. The network leverages TRM’s unique technology platform and incident response expertise; TRM team members include former law enforcement officers from the UK National Crime Agency, INTERPOL, Australian Federal Police, IRS-Criminal Investigation, DEA , HSI, FBI, US Secret Service, US Treasury Department and others. TRM’s investigative tools are used by law enforcement agencies, tax authorities, and financial intelligence units around the world to support investigations of crypto fraud and financial crime.
In the private sector, TRM provides compliance services to a wide and diverse range of VASPs, including exchanges, NFT marketplaces, DeFi platforms, blockchain foundations and others, whose participation in the network demonstrates a commitment to hinder the efforts of threat actors who seek to steal or otherwise use cryptocurrency for illicit activities.
“With crypto, threat actors can move illicit funds at internet speeds,” said Esteban Castaño, CEO of TRM Labs. “It is essential that the public and private sectors have tools to collaborate in real time, stop financial crime and recover funds for victims. With the Beacon Network, our law enforcement customers and the entire Web3 industry now have a trusted channel to collaborate on critical incidents.
VASPs can leverage the Beacon Network to more effectively prioritize the high volume of law enforcement requests they receive. Because Beacon requests come from the network, VASP staff know they are legitimate and urgent; only verified law enforcement agencies have access to the network and use of the network is restricted to critical and urgent incidents supporting fund recovery efforts.
“Binance is committed to sustainably growing the industry and strengthening its security, which includes working closely with law enforcement to detect and combat hacks, ransomware, and other attacks that undermine the integrity of the crypto economy,” said Aron Akbiyikian, Global Head of the Law. Application Admissions Team. “Being part of the Beacon Network will further assist our investigations team to respond quickly to priority and urgent requests from law enforcement agencies.”
“As a community, we strive to enable people, businesses, and financial services to conduct their business securely on-chain, and we must leverage blockchain transaction traceability to help protect consumers,” said Mandeep Wallia, chief compliance and risk officer at Circle. “The Beacon Network will help strengthen the industry, and Circle is proud to engage our outstanding compliance and intelligence specialists to build strong protections for the future of finance.”
“Bittrex remains committed to fighting financial crime through a strong culture of compliance and partnering with equally dedicated money laundering and fraud prevention and detection teams like TRM Labs,” said Mike. Carter, CCO of Bittrex, Inc. “We are actively cooperating with law enforcement teams and are excited to add additional features to respond more effectively to urgent requests.
VASPs and public sector agencies wishing to take advantage of the Beacon network can submit an application here.
About TRM Laboratories
TRM provides blockchain insights to help financial institutions, cryptocurrency businesses, and public agencies detect and investigate crypto-related fraud and financial crimes. TRM’s risk management platform includes solutions for blockchain transaction monitoring and portfolio screening, VASP due diligence, and fund flow tracking for investigations. These tools enable a rapidly growing cohort of organizations around the world to securely adopt cryptocurrency-related transactions, products, and partnerships. TRM is based in San Francisco, CA, and recruits in engineering, product, sales, and data science. To learn more, visit www.trmlabs.com.