Thursday, August 31, 2017

Homeland Security official acknowledges Bitcoin as being legitimate, and now easier to track in regards to crime

An ironic twist has come about regarding Bitcoin and its intrinsic privacy attributes (or in reality, its lack thereof) as more and more criminals such as drug cartels are moving away from this particular cryptocurrency in favor of others that provide much more anonymity.

Earlier this morning an anonymous official from the Department of Homeland Security spoke with CNBC and stated that Bitcoin has 'become a lot more legitimate' than most people believe, and that because of the government's ability to track its use with new cyber tools dedicated for the Blockchain along with tighter regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges, many of the prior fears of Bitcoin being primarily used as a money laundering mechanism have faded.

To wit, one anonymous DHS source told CNBC that bitcoin has become “a lot more legitimate” than many believe. 
"We're getting a lot better through law enforcement tracking those [criminals] and holding the exchanges more accountable," the Homeland Security official said. "I think [bitcoin]'s a lot more legitimate than people give it credit for." 
Another source told CNBC that criminals have backed away from using the digital currency as bitcoin transactions have become much easier for authorities to trace. Earlier this month, the IRS announced that it had developed, with the help of bitcoin security firm Chainalysis, a tool to unmask the owners of bitcoin wallets. 
“Although hard numbers on criminal activity in digital currencies are difficult to pin down, Shone Anstey, co-founder and president of Blockchain Intelligence Group, estimates that illegal transactions in bitcoin have fallen from about half of total volume to about 20 percent last year.  
"Now it's significantly less than that," he told CNBC earlier this month, noting that overall transaction volume has grown globally.” 
Bitcoin is vulnerable to law enforcement because each user must display a public ID, a complex cryptographic combination of numbers and letters, in order to tansact in bitcoin. By tracing the movement of coins between accounts, CNBC explains, intelligence and security agencies can follow the money and arrest the criminals when they try to withdraw their ill-gotten games in US dollars, or another fiat currency. - Zerohedge
One of Bitcoin's Achilles heels is the fact that the majority of cryptocurrency transactions take place through regulated exchanges, and not necessarily through peer to peer methods.  And it is here where government oversight can have an effect on Bitcoin's overall growth as adoption by the unlearned can be hindered by the media, the fear of arrest, a lack of understanding of cryptocurrencies, or simply through government propaganda.

There is no denying that Bitcoin is de-centralized and outside the purview of central bank controls, however it is no longer completely anonymous as long as cryptocurrency exchanges remain the primary conduit for the majority of transactions.


Just another in your face confirmation that the US Gov now owns Bitcoin and perhaps other fake currencies

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