Calgary Police Service, Chainalysis Introduce Western Canada Cryptocurrency Investigations Centre

The Calgary Police Service and Chainalysis are together launching the Western Canada Cryptocurrency Investigations Centre, an innovative regional center that will enable law enforcement to tackle crime that takes place using blockchain technology.

By bringing together law enforcement agencies and personnel from across Western Canada and equipping them with Chainalysis’ data, blockchain analysis tools, and expert investigations team, the entire region will be better equipped “to fight crime that happens on this novel technology.”

In turn, citizens across Western Canada will “see better outcomes through investigative efficiency — all leading to an increased trust in digital assets.”

Chief Constable Mark Neufeld of the Calgary Police Service, said:

“Cyber is quickly becoming a component of criminal activity, and often requires collaboration between law enforcement and other expert industries. We are thrilled to be part of an innovative partnership with Chainalysis where cybersecurity expertise is shared amongst the Calgary Police Service and private enterprise. This unique partnership will help strengthen cybersecurity and safety among residents of Calgary, Alberta and Canada.”

Chainalysis Public Sector Chief Technology Officer Gurvais Grigg said:

“This partnership is an incredible opportunity to democratize the world-class expertise in crypto investigations at the Calgary Police Service across Western Canada. The entire CPS team has been fantastic partners in our work to build trust in digital assets, and this expanded structure allows them to better protect more Canadians from crypto crime. We could not be more thrilled to launch this innovative centre and look forward to working closely with law enforcement agencies across the region.”

Chainalysis Cofounder and Chief Strategy Officer Jonathan Levin said:

“This demonstration of public-private partnership to solve novel issues in financial services is a model that the rest of the world can learn from. Not only is this a great moment for Western Canada, but it is a first step in our work to enable law enforcement partners across the world to protect their constituents, and in turn, help build trust in blockchain technology.”

Crypto crime in Canada

Since 2019, Chainalysis research “has shown a massive increase in the adoption and usage of cryptocurrencies and digital assets in Canada.”

In 2022, Canada “ranked 22nd in our Global Crypto Adoption Index, that’s up from 26th in 2021 and 24th in 2020.”

When we look at Canadian engagement with crypto ATMs, decentralized exchanges, and centralized exchanges, we see that Canada “has experienced a nearly 213% increase since 2019 as of Jan 2023, with a peak level of adoption around 865% greater than March 2019 in May of 2021, driven largely by interest in DeFi.”

However, with that explosive increase in adoption of cryptocurrency by Canadians, we also see an “increase in criminal activity, and these numbers could tell a unique story of the devastating ways in which Canandians have lost their money to malicious actors who use crypto as a means of fraud, scams, and crime.”

Overall, for every 1000 Canadians, “there was at least $1,144 CAD in total exposure to illicit crypto activity in 2022 alone.”

As noted in the update:

“In only looking at the top 10 scams in terms of revenue, we see that over $41.7 million CAD was garnered through this activity in 2022 across Canada. The climate is ripe for investment in greater law enforcement measures to protect Canadians. Through this industry-defining and world-leading partnership, Calgary Police Service will continue their efforts to fight crime, democratize their investigative capabilities across the region, and ultimately work to bend this curve downward.”

The partnership “combines CPS’ deep understanding of Western Canada, investigative expertise and customer-service, proactive focus to policing with Chainalysis’ best in class technology, investigative solutions, and training expertise.”

For more details on this update, click here.

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