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Blockchain Tech Brings Promise for Forensic Applications

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:55 PM
Rebecca Campbell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:55 PM

A report has come out saying that the blockchain presents great promise for the forensic community, which could cut down on the amount of time, money and energy the forensic arena consumes.

The report  ‘Beyond bitcoin: Leveraging blockchain for forensic applications,’ was undertaken by U.S.-based Grant Thornton, the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax, and advisory firms.

According to the report, it says that the blockchain, which reduces friction through increased trust, holds the answer for the forensic community.

Authored by Johnny Lee, Principal and the national practice leader for the Forensic Technology practice of Grant Thornton LLP’s Forensic and Advisory Services, he states:

An enormous amount of time, energy and, correspondingly, money in the forensic arena is consumed in the observation, authentication, and verification of certain facts.

However, he adds analysis and discussions are factors too, which are required to ensure a faultless audit trail, but that the blockchain addresses these issues all at once.

The use of the distributed ledger has expanded from the finance sector into technology, energy, healthcare and manufacturing to ensure a tamper-proof history detailing how products are created, moved and upheld throughout various networks.

As such the forensic community are now beginning to realize the benefits that it can hold for them too, providing integrity to the evidence collected.

Lee adds:

The forensic implication of this powerful technology also includes improved transactional efficiency, the reduction of fraud and the reduced costs of certain kinds of transactions, such as M&A.

Bitcoin Forensic Firm

Elliptic, which is a bitcoin forensics firm, identifies illegal activity on the bitcoin blockchain providing highly sought intelligence to financial services and law enforcement agencies.

Last August, it teamed up with LexisNexis, a leading company that provides essential information to banks to adhere to AML controls, to restrict illicit transactions with the digital currency, bitcoin.

The company has also worked with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to tackle those utilizing bitcoin to purchase child sex abuse images online. They do this through a uniquely developed tool from Elliptic that enables them to dig through suspicious activity before linking transactions together to determine where the money is moving and going to.

Use cases with the blockchain are continuing to increase, which in turn is providing improved results for many services. Grant Thornton is exploring the ways in which it can apply the technology, which could soon play a vital role in forensic applications within the company.

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