The Web is part of society and is formed by society. And till society is a crime-free zone, the Web won’t be against the law-free zone.
So what’s a cryptocurrency? A cryptocurrency is a decentralised payment system, which basically lets folks ship currency to each other over the web without the necessity for a trusted third party akin to a bank or financial institution. The transactions are low-cost, and in lots of cases, they’re free. And also, the payments are pseudo anonymous as well.
As well as that, the principle characteristic is that it’s totally decentralised, which signifies that there is not any single central level of creatority or anything like that. The implications of this is done by everyone having a full copy of all the transactions that have ever occurred with Bitcoin. This creates an incredibly resilient network, which implies that nobody can change or reverse or police any of the transactions.
The high stage of anonymity in there means that it’s very hard to trace transactions. It is not totally not possible, however it’s impractical in most cases. So crime with cryptocurrency– because you’ve acquired quick, borderless transactions, and you have got a high stage of anonymity, it in principle creates a system that’s ripe for exploitation. So in most cases when it’s a crime on-line with online payment systems, then they tend to go to the creatorities and, say, we will hand over this payment information or we can stop these transactions and reverse them. And none of that can happen with Bitcoin, so it makes it ripe for criminals, in theory.
In light of this, a whole lot of totally different businesses are researching into Bitcoin and looking at Bitcoin and attempting to understand how it works and what they will do to police it. It is also been in the media quite a couple of instances, and the media, being the media, like give attention to the bad side of it. So they focus very closely on the crime with it. So if there’s a theft or a rip-off or something like that, then they have an inclination guilty it on Bitcoin and Bitcoin users.
So essentially the most notable is probably Silk Road, which received taken down lately, and thru their $1.2 billion worth of Bitcoins, went to pay for anything from medicine to weapons to hit males to those types of things. And the media, again, very quickly guilty this on Bitcoins and say that it was the Bitcoin person’s fault.
But there’s truly very little proof of the scale of the problem of crime with cryptocurrencies. We do not know if there’s a lot or we do not know if there’s a little. But despite this, persons are very quick to brand it as a criminal thing, and so they neglect the legitimate uses, such as the quick and quick payment.
So a few research questions I am looking at in this area is what does crime with Bitcoin look like? So a lot of people will say that scams and thefts have been happening for ages. However the means by means of which they occur changes with the technology. So a Victorian avenue swindler would practically be doing something very completely different to a 419 Nigerian prince scammer.
So the following question that I might like to research as well is looking on the scale of the problem of crime with cryptocurrency. So by generating a log of known scams and thefts and things like that, we will then cross reference that with the public transaction log of all transactions and see just how a lot of the transactions are literally unlawful and criminal. So my closing query could be, to what extent does the technology itself actually facilitate crime? By looking back on the crime logs, we will see which particular sorts of crime happen, and if it is actually the technology’s fault, or is this just the same old crimes that we have been looking at before. And once we’ve consider these things, we can start to think about potential solutions to the difficulty of crime with Bitcoin.
And we will consider that the only suitable solution would be one that preserves the underlying values of the technology itself, which can be privacy and decentralisation. A variety of focus from the media is to look at the criminal aspects of it. They usually don’t give sufficient value to the legitimate makes use of, because Bitcoin is a technology that enables quick, quick payments, which is helpful to anybody that is ever paid for anything on the web.
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