Bitcoin, Is It a Friend or Foe for Law Enforcement?

When we think about Bitcoin, the first things that come across our minds are private transaction, anonymous and untraceable. Those things make us really confident in doing a transaction, not because we are doing something shady, but just because we want some privacy. Unfortunately, some people are not as nice and innocent as we are. Due to the nature of Bitcoin transaction, cryptocurrency system is often used by criminals to hide from the police enforcement.

We have heard so many news regarding how the police managed to capture criminals by tracking their bitcoin transactions. One of the most prominent cases is the recent Danish drug trafficker arrest. The cybercrime division of Denmark’s law enforcement managed to arrest two big drug dealers by analyzing their cryptocurrency transaction.

Can Criminal Hides Behind Bitcoin?
While of course it is a great news for all of us, it also raise a serious question about the “untraceable” nature of cryptocurrency transaction. If the police can find a criminal by analyzing their bitcoin transaction, does it mean that bitcoin transaction is not private anymore. Does it mean that there is a way the government can spy our transaction, which is actually against the decentralization principle of Bitcoin? And most importantly, does it mean that criminals can hide behind Bitcoin?

Thankfully, the answer for all of those questions is no. Bitcoin is just as private, secure and decentralized as we know before. The Danish police’s succeed in capturing the criminal was not because of a hole the security of Bitcoin system. In the Danish drug trafficker case, the investigators used information they already gathered about the criminals and combine it with the transaction patterns listed on the Blockchain. Here, we should remember that the Blockchain ledger can be accessed by everybody. Since the police officers don’t have to ask for permissions from a certain jurisdiction to access the ledger, the investigation process were faster and very effective.

Similar cases also have happened in the US. In 2015, FBI managed to arrest the man behind Silk Road drug trafficking by analyzing the suspect’s bitcoin transaction. According to the investigators, the suspect made some mistakes and carelessness that lead the police to find his IP address and bitcoin transaction in the Blockchain ledger.

Even though there are many criminal cases involving bitcoin, criminals cannot use this method to completely hide from the law enforcement. As the technology advances, the investigators have found many ways to get information from Blockchain without interrupting the privacy of other users so people can keep using bitcoin without having to worry about negative stigma.




I am Blogger, freelancer, internet marketing who loved to reading and writing in a personal blog

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