There are many people who like trading cryptocurrencies that use blockchain technology. At the moment, they seem to be everywhere and in everything. And that includes the usual cyber criminals who wear hoodies and sit at their computers. Blockchain technology is basically a distributed ledger technology (DLT) that consists of a growing list of records, called blocks, that are securely linked together using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. The timestamp proves that the transaction data existed when the block was created. Since each block contains information about the previous block, they effectively form a chain with each additional block linking to the ones before it. Consequently, blockchain transactions are irreversible in that, once they are recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without altering all subsequent blocks.
Most people use Bitcoin, which is the most well-known cryptocurrency. But now there’s also Ethereum, Coinye West, and a whole bunch of others. Basically means that you can’t counterfeit these things. You can mine for new cryptocurrencies, but it takes a lot of time, energy, and money. So, just like on the darknet, the development of cryptocurrencies made it possible for people to send Bitcoins or any other type of token directly from one person to another. So usually, when you are engaging in a financial transaction, you need to send money from your account to another person’s bank account. And the intermediary there is the bank itself.
So, whether you use a bank, Western Union, or a money transfer service, there is a financial middleman in the middle. The fact that this financial middleman exists gives law enforcement a chance to step in. Because they know where the money is coming from and where it is going. The development of these peer-to-peer financial transactions got rid of that intermediary. So it is no longer possible for law enforcement to trace where these payments are going unless they’re using very sophisticated and very rare blockchain analysis techniques.
Some police have been able to figure out the passwords of a few drug dealers on the dark web by using blockchain analysis. But there are ways to fight back against this. There are things called “Bitcoin tumblers,” which are basically big vats filled with other Bitcoins. Then you put in one Bitcoin. It will move it around a few hundred thousand times and then spit out another one.
Also, there are a lot of good ways to clean Bitcoin. So, if you know what you’re doing with these kinds of systems, it’s almost impossible for law enforcement agencies to decrypt financial transactions and find out where people spend their money with the tools they have today.
So, it’s clear that the rise of cryptocurrencies has made a huge difference in how cybercrime is done. So instead of sending that check or cash through the mail to the P.O. If you have an address in Panama, you can just demand money from people running ransomware software, and they will give you a Bitcoin wallet. And that’s all there is to the deal.
Cryptocurrencies are also being used in more traditional ways to try to get money from people for other criminals. So, in kidnapping, the transfer of money is one of the most vulnerable points, just as it is in regular kidnapping. So grabbing someone off the street isn’t too hard. The money is much harder and riskier for regular criminals to get their hands on.
And now we can see that kidnappers are starting to change. And instead of asking for cash payments, just give the people who want to commit these kinds of crimes and mostly solved by the creation of these technologies.