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Law will lag international cryptocurrency crime

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Subject

Cryptocurrencies and crime.

Significance

Initial hearings started in Tokyo yesterday in the embezzlement trial of the former chief executive of Mt. Gox, the bankrupt Japan-based bitcoin exchange that imploded in 2014 after losing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of the cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies have increased greatly in popularity in recent years, reaching a peak value of 115 billion dollars in June, according to Coinmarketcap.com, which tracks more than 900 of them, as interest in the potential of cryptocurrencies' enabling blockchain technology has soared. Yet it is not just legitimate sectors that look to cryptocurrencies: both cybercriminals and traditional criminals are turning to them.

Impacts

  • Governments will seek to regulate cryptocurrencies.
  • Cyber criminals will inevitably choose cryptocurrencies that provide robust privacy and anonymity assurances.
  • Law enforcement could still disrupt criminal activities by injecting mistrust into criminal platforms.

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