Crackdown on Crypto Related Crimes
November 27, 2018 (Investorideas.com Newswire) One of the biggest reasons why institutional investors are wary of entering the cryptocurrency market - besides its extreme volatility - is the lack of proper regulations governing this new market. And due to this nascent industry not having laws in place, cryptocurrency related crime is also rampant.
In 2017, hackers did away with about $261 million worth of cryptocurrencies by robbing cryptocurrency exchanges. That number grew exponentially this year. According to a report published by the cyber-security firm CipherTrace, more than $731 million worth of cryptos had been stolen from exchanges in just the first half of this year.
Another issue that mainstream investors have with the cryptocurrency market is that cryptos are being used to not just launder money, but also fund terrorism. The biggest attraction of cryptocurrencies are their anonymity. While transactions are permanent and immutable, that data does not reveal the users' identity. Because of this, cryptocurrencies have actually become the preferred mode of payment for the darknet.
The darknet is a term that is used to describe the parts of the internet that are not public and can only be accessed using specific software programs. It is also the place where the worst forms of criminal transactions take place, from simple selling of malware or illegal goods, to more extreme transactions like hiring assassins, trafficking weapons, funding terrorism and sex and child trafficking.
In fact, in early November, just a few weeks ago, an article was published with regard to the cybersex industry. According to this news report, child abuse offenders, otherwise known as pedophiles and traffickers in child cybersex were proliferating in the Philippines. This is happening despite crackdowns by local as well as foreign authorities.
This report stated that a study conducted by the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography in partnership with the International Center for Missing & Exploited Children showed that encrypted payment systems using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin were facilitating the increase in live-streaming of child sexual abuse.
One of the predictions is that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will soon be acceptable modes of payment. The mass acceptance of these digital assets would mean that their usage would also increase exponentially. This, according to the study, would create an investigative choke point, which would eventually also help the law to the users' identities.
In fact, authorities across the world are stepping up to combat crypto crime. PoliceOne.com, a website that focuses on the problems being faced by law enforcers across the world, published an article about how authorities are battling crypto related crimes, especially drug trafficking.
The Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement team, also known as the J-CODE team, an FBI-led initiative, brought together various federal agencies to crackdown on illicit drug sales on the darknet. Its most recent operation, called Operation Disarray, was the first ever of its kind that took place across all 50 states in the US. Thanks to this operation, more than 160 people suspected of dealing with online drug sales were apprehended.
While there is undoubtedly a proliferation of crimes using cryptocurrencies, there are also times when these charges may be incorrect. Here is list of the top crimes and fiascos in cryptocurrency till date.
In this list, there is mention of how some parties were investigated for crypto related crimes but were found to be innocent. This is the time that criminal defence lawyers such as NewMexicoCriminalLaw step up to help those wrongly accused of a crime go free.
At the end of the day, while authorities are cracking down on crime, especially in the cryptocurrency space, there are also instances where these allegations may prove to be incorrect and regulators need to account for those instances too.
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