The Web is section of society and is shaped by society. And until society is a crime-free zone, the Web won’t be considered a crime-free zone.
So what’s a cryptocurrency? A cryptocurrency is a decentralised payment system, which basically lets people send currency together over the net without the necessity for a reliable alternative party such as a bank or financial institution. The transactions are cheap, and in many cases, they’re free. And also, the payments are pseudo anonymous as well.
In addition to that, the key feature is that it’s totally decentralised, which means that there’s not one central point of authority or anything like that bitkub. The implications of this is done by everyone having a complete copy of all transactions that have ever happened with Bitcoin. This creates an incredibly resilient network, which means that no one can change or reverse or police any of the transactions.
The high level of anonymity within implies that it’s quite difficult to trace transactions. It’s not totally impossible, but it’s impractical in many cases. So crime with cryptocurrency– because you’ve got fast, borderless transactions, and you’ve got a high level of anonymity, it in theory creates a system that is ripe for exploitation. So typically when it’s an offense online with online payment systems, chances are they tend to attend the authorities and, say, we can hand over this payment information or we can stop these transactions and reverse them. And none of that could happen with Bitcoin, therefore it makes it ripe for criminals, in theory.
In light of this, plenty of different agencies are researching into Bitcoin and considering Bitcoin and attempting to understand how it works and what they could do to police it. It’s also been in the media quite a few times, and the media, being the media, like focus on the bad side of it. So they really focus very heavily on the crime with it. So if there’s a theft or a scam or something that way, chances are they tend to blame it on Bitcoin and Bitcoin users.
So the most notable might be Silk Road, which got taken down recently, and through their $1.2 billion worth of Bitcoins, went to fund anything from drugs to guns going to men to those sorts of things. And the media, again, quickly at fault this on Bitcoins and say so it was the Bitcoin user’s fault.
But there’s actually hardly any proof the scale of the situation of crime with cryptocurrencies. We don’t know if there’s a whole lot or we don’t know if there’s a little. But not surprisingly, people are extremely quick to brand it as a criminal thing, and they forget the legitimate uses, like the fast and quick payment.
So a couple of research questions I’m considering of this type is what does crime with Bitcoin seem like? So plenty of people will say that scams and thefts have already been going on for ages. But the means through which they happen changes with the technology. So a Victorian street swindler would practically be doing something very different to a 419 Nigerian prince scammer.
So the following question that I’d like to analyze as well is considering the scale of the situation of crime with cryptocurrency. So by generating a log of known scams and thefts and things like that, we will then cross reference that with people transaction log of transactions and see the amount of of the transactions are now illegal and criminal. So my final question could be, as to the extent does the technology itself actually facilitate crime? By looking back at the crime logs, we can see which particular sorts of crime happen, and when it is actually the technology’s fault, or is this just the same old crimes that we’ve been considering before. And once we’ve consider these specific things, we can start to think about possible methods to the matter of crime with Bitcoin.
And we can consider that the sole suitable solution could be one that preserves the underlying values of the technology itself, which may be privacy and decentralisation. Lots of focus from the media would be to look at the criminal aspects of it. And they don’t give enough value to the legitimate uses, because Bitcoin is a technology that allows fast, quick payments, that will be helpful to anyone that’s ever taken care of anything on the web.