On April 12, the Western Canada Cryptocurrency Investigations Centre was inaugurated. It is a collaborative team comprising Calgary Police Department investigators and analysts from the blockchain data company, Chainalysis.
In the announcement of the partnership via a blog post, Jonathan Levin, Chainalysis’ co-founder and chief strategy officer, commented that the public-private partnership shown to tackle innovative matters in financial services is a model that the rest of the world can adopt.
The new facility will add to what is already being done to put an end to the growing number of crimes related to cryptocurrency in Western Canada.
As per the blog post by Chainalysis, there has been a significant surge in the adoption of cryptocurrencies in Canada. The company noted that Canadian engagement with crypto ATMs, decentralized exchanges, and centralized exchanges has increased by almost 213% since 2019 as of January 2023. Additionally, the peak level of adoption in May 2021 was around 865% higher than in March 2019, with DeFi being a major driver of interest.
But along with this fast growth, there has been a rise in crime. Chainalysis says that in Canada alone, more than $41 million was lost to cryptocurrency scams in 2022. It also says that during the same time period, illegal crypto activity exposed at least $1,144 CAD for every 1,000 Canadians.
The Calgary police department plans to use the private-sector expertise of Chainalysis to improve its training programs for investigators and, according to the blog post, to give officers round-the-clock case support.
Chainalysis says that the next step is to make the program bigger so that it can help more law enforcement agencies in Western Canada. The company wants to eventually expand this concept globally, collaborating with law enforcement personnel around the world to offer made-to-measure, customized offerings based on the unique needs of the region at hand.