The internet belongs to society and is shaped by society. And until society is a crime-free zone, the net will not be a crime-free zone.
So what exactly is a cryptocurrency? A what is cryptocurrency is a decentralised payment system, which basically lets people send currency to each other on the internet without making use of a reliable 3rd party such as a bank or financial institution. The transactions are cheap, and in some cases, they’re free. And also, the instalments are pseudo anonymous too.
As well as that, the key feature is that itrrrs very decentralised, meaning there is no single central point of authority or anything that way. The implications of this is done by everyone creating a full copy of all transactions that have ever happened with Bitcoin. This creates a remarkably resilient network, meaning it’s impossible to change or reverse or police the transactions.
The high degree of anonymity in there implies that it’s very tough to trace transactions. It isn’t totally impossible, but it is impractical generally. So crime with cryptocurrency– as you have got fast, borderless transactions, plus you’ve got an advanced level of anonymity, it the theory is that produces a system that’s ripe for exploitation. So generally when it is a criminal offense online with web payment systems, they often go to the authorities and, say, we can hand over this payment information or we can stop these transactions and reverse them. And none of that can happen with Bitcoin, so it causes it to be ripe for criminals, the theory is that.
In light of this, lot of different agencies are researching into Bitcoin and looking at Bitcoin and seeking to know the ins and outs and just what they could do to police it. It’s also been in the media quite a few times, and also the media, to be the media, like concentrate on the bad side from it. So they really focus very heavily around the crime from it. So if there exists a theft or a scam as well, they often blame it on Bitcoin and Bitcoin users.
Therefore the perhaps most obviously might be Silk Road, which got taken down recently, and through their $1.2 billion price of Bitcoins, went along to pay for anything from drugs to guns hitting men to people sorts of things. And also the media, again, very quickly at fault this on Bitcoins and claim that it had been the Bitcoin user’s fault.
But there’s actually hardly any proof of the size from the problem of crime with cryptocurrencies. We don’t know if there is lots or we do not know if there exists a little. But regardless of this, people are very swift to brand it as a criminal thing, and they your investment legitimate uses, such as the fast and quick payment.
So several research questions I’m looking at in this field is what does crime with Bitcoin look like? So lots of people will claim that scams and thefts have already been going on for ages. But the means whereby they happen changes with the technology. So a Victorian street swindler would practically do something different to some 419 Nigerian prince scammer.
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