Drug Traffickers’ Use of Bitcoin Can Be Easily Traced Says Homeland Security Official


Drug Traffickers’ Use of Bitcoin Can Be Easily Traced Says Homeland Security Official

Assistant Director of Domestic Operations at Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Matthew Allen presented his findings on cryptocurrencies, their existence in illegal activities and how to put an end to said activities in front of the U.S Senate on Wednesday, October 3, reports Crypto Briefing.

In the multiple statements he had made, couple of things have been clear: first, drug traffickers are more likely to use cryptocurrencies for anonymity and second, despite their attempts in hiding, the slightest move can get them caught.

When speaking in terms of cryptocurrencies serving as a medium of exchange for dealing drugs, Allen pointed out that tokens that are based on privacy are more likely to be chosen, i.e. Monero and Litecoin, with interest in Bitcoin gradually decreasing. In particular, he said:

“On the dark net marketplaces and other ‘unindexed’ websites, purchases are often paid for with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero, among many others.”

Allen’s claim that the HSI is both watchful and has the ability to catch criminals red handed is a bold statement, but what supports such an affirmation? Based on the claims made, it is the littlest of differences. More specifically,

“Whenever monetary exchanges are made, a vulnerability is created […] This is the time when criminals are most susceptible to identification by law enforcement.”

Simply put, criminals cannot live within the crypto sphere forever, as they are surely to convert their tokens into fiat currency. This is when the HSI is supposedly given the opportunity to identify and trace them down. This of course also combines “surveillance, undercover operations, and confidential informants, coupled with financial and blockchain analysis”.

Allen also noted that upon capturing such “illicit exchangers”, investigations will be conducted where electronic devices will be searched and normally, said devices give away one’s true identity and involvement in activities. In addition, the existence of “blockchain-tracing tools” make it simpler to “identify other criminals”.

Evidently, those who plan to invest in cryptocurrencies without reporting them in their taxes or to participate in illegal activities using the digital assets are seeing their ability to escape reduce over time. The same blockchain technology that promises investors of transparency, security, and the concept of decentralization is the one that will have criminals behind bars.

What are your thoughts on HSI’s Matthew Allen’s statements? Do you think the time has come to say our riddance to the wrongdoers who give a bad reputation to cryptocurrencies or will they manage to find a way out?

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