Cryptocurrency has presented unique opportunities to criminals, particularly in the online sector, whether you believe in its use cases or not. As a result, law enforcement has had to catch up with online criminals. They have learned the ways of the blockchain and spurred the growth of a cottage industry of firms that look at blockchain data and find useful information, such as where stolen funds end up.
As we’ve learned from one such firm, Elementus, which works more with private-sector operations than the government, often enough of the proceeds of thefts wind up on decentralized exchanges. How are regulators and law enforcement going to behave in a world where essentially, owning the keys to something gives you full control of it?
There’s no putting a stop order, shutting down the exchange, or canceling transactions. Gathering evidence requires traditional methods of police work that modern structures may have made unattractive.
The officials who gathered talked about a wide range of computer security topics, with bitcoin and crypto being just one. Among the issues explored were e-terrorist attacks in the form of DOS attacks, phishing scams, and the rest.
Officials were ingratiated in the use of several crypto exchanges and wallets, including LocalBitcoins, which recently removed online trading. The move has given rise to Roger Ver’s alternative platform, local.bitcoin.com, which still allows people to meet in person to sell and buy cryptocurrency. LocalBitcoins’ in-person trading was the source of several crypto busts in recent years. Presumably, that volume will switch over to alternatives like Bitcoin.com and Paxful.
Unlike other wings of government, there doesn’t seem to have been any talk about banning crypto as a reasonable way to deal with it. Law enforcement, better than anyone, understands the futile nature of placing a ban on something. Looking at the war on drugs, it’s clear that if there’s a demand for a product, the product will materialize.
Instead, officials reportedly discussed the use cases of the blockchain in the legitimate world.
“Participants reflected on the legitimate use of blockchain technologies, including the use of cryptocurrencies for trading and investment activities, payment method and as a store of value.”
The mostly untested, nascent blockchain technology is a curiosity for governments and business leaders the world over. Like it or not, it will be a core part of every business moving forward, giving rise to support from companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.
In the future, companies that don’t use blockchain to track certain data or to store certain types of files will be seen in a different light. The blockchain will be deeply embedded in business culture by then. This isn’t speculation. It’s a safe calculation based on the growth in interest around the subject.
On the macro scale, for businesses, it only makes sense to use blockchain. For banks, the same. Both will have some form of integration, and it will ease the movement of data and money internationally.
Last modified: July 2, 2020 7:24 PM UTC