Criminals and Cryptocurrency go hand in hand. The founder of the first Cryptocurrency(bitcoin) was Satoshi Nakamoto. It was a brilliant invention, creating a digital currency that would in very quickly and with in a very short span of time, change, society and business looked at money. So shortly after the invention of the Bitcioin, which now is the largest digital asset in terms of market share and also is the most popular, became the favorite payment option among the bad guys. The founder would never have thought that, it would become the most favored form of currency among criminals operating in the darknet. Criminals have used technology to run their operation in the background and it was the case with Silk Road, which has now been seized and shut down by the American law enforcement agency.
Silk Road is the best example by which the criminals use the technology to hide their identity and anonymity from the public view and carry out their dirty and cheap work. Bitcoin has a lot of advantages and one of the most beneficial is, it keeps the both the parties that conducts the operation hidden and anonymous. Bitcoin has long been invented by Satoshi Nakamoto and now the same Bitcoin is being used by the criminals for several of purpose. The criminals use Bitcoin for laundering dirty money, scamming victim out of funds, defrauding investors, monetizing ransomware and also buying of illicit goods and services.
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There has been in the past been rumors that the major terrorist organization using Bitcoin to finance their activity and raise support through the proceeds that they accumulate. And they are no small terrorist organizations that are involved in the process. Organizations like Al-Qaeda and ISIS are some of the quite notable terrorist organization that has carried out grave crimes that are horrible and unimaginable. There are numerous incidents of Cryptocurrency fueled violence that have grabbed headlines. The impact law enforcement agencies make is that they adopt new technologies and always stay updated. They achieve the goal by collaborating with other law enforcement agencies, sometimes getting help from the criminals itself, as they sometimes reveal the location along with the plan.
According to Charles Delingpole , founder of Comply Advantage , a company that screens entities and monitors transaction told in a recent interview that the criminal first mistake is to de-anonymize oneself which makes it easy for law enforcement to track its activity and target his operation. This was the case for Ross Ulbritch, the infamous founder of Silk Road, he used multiple names or aliases that were identifiable and traceable back to his real life. Crrptocurrency and Blockchain are also partners of each other. This is because any crypto you get hold of use the blockchain technology for transaction. Blockchain is a very new concept and it acts a distributed ledger and stores all the transaction that every single Cryptocurrency transaction has ever made or will make in the future.
The fact that even the transaction that is made by the Cryptocurrency which uses the blockchain technology leaves a trace behind, is not enough to discourage criminals to stop using the currency for their own means. Although the patterns are not visible as and when they are carried out but eventually they can be tracked by any party, who wants to map the movements of these transactions and reveal the parties that are involved in the transaction. This is the strategy most of the law enforcement agencies carry out when they are in pursuit of a darknet criminal, running operationsjust by sitting behind the computer.
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