The Web is part of society and is formed by society. And until society is against the law-free zone, the Web won’t be against the law-free zone.
So what is a cryptocurrency? A cryptocurrency is a decentralised payment system, which basically lets folks send currency to one another over the web without the necessity for a trusted third party similar to a bank or financial institution. The transactions are low cost, and in many cases, they’re free. And also, the payments are pseudo anonymous as well.
As well as that, the main feature is that it’s totally decentralised, which means that there’s no single central level of authority or anything like that. The implications of this is completed by everyone having a full copy of all of the transactions which have ever occurred with Bitcoin. This creates an incredibly resilient network, which signifies that nobody can change or reverse or police any of the transactions.
The high level of anonymity in there means that it’s very hard to hint transactions. It’s not totally unattainable, but it’s impractical in most cases. So crime with cryptocurrency– because you have got fast, borderless transactions, and you have a high degree of anonymity, it in idea creates a system that is ripe for exploitation. So in most cases when it’s against the law on-line with on-line payment systems, then they have an inclination to go to the authorities and, say, we are able to hand over this payment data or we will cease these transactions and reverse them. And none of that may happen with Bitcoin, so it makes it ripe for criminals, in theory.
In light of this, a whole lot of different companies are researching into Bitcoin and looking at Bitcoin and attempting to understand how it works and what they can do to police it. It is also been within the media quite a number of instances, and the media, being the media, like give attention to the bad side of it. So that they focus very closely on the crime with it. So if there’s a theft or a scam or something like that, then they tend guilty it on Bitcoin and Bitcoin users.
So probably the most notable is probably Silk Road, which received taken down not too long ago, and thru their $1.2 billion worth of Bitcoins, went to pay for anything from drugs to guns to hit males to those sorts of things. And the media, again, very quickly responsible this on Bitcoins and say that it was the Bitcoin user’s fault.
However there’s really very little proof of the scale of the problem of crime with cryptocurrencies. We don’t know if there’s so much or we do not know if there’s a little. But despite this, persons are very quick to model it as a criminal thing, and so they forget the legitimate makes use of, such because the fast and quick payment.
So a few research questions I’m looking at in this space is what does crime with Bitcoin look like? So a lot of people will say that scams and thefts have been occurring for ages. But the means through which they happen changes with the technology. So a Victorian street swindler would practically be doing something very 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 are able to then cross reference that with the general public transaction log of all transactions and see just how a lot of the transactions are actually unlawful and criminal. So my remaining question would be, to what extent does the technology itself truly facilitate crime? By looking back at the crime logs, we will see which particular types of crime happen, and if it is actually the technology’s fault, or is this just the same old crimes that we’ve been looking at before. And once we have consider these things, we can start to think about attainable solutions to the problem of crime with Bitcoin.
And we will consider that the only suitable answer could be one that preserves the underlying values of the technology itself, which can be privacy and decentralisation. A number of focus from the media is to look on the criminal points of it. And so they don’t give sufficient value to the legitimate makes use of, because Bitcoin is a technology that enables quick, quick payments, which is beneficial to anybody that’s ever paid for anything on the web.
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