The Web is part of society and is shaped by society. And till society is a criminal offense-free zone, the Web won’t be a criminal offense-free zone.
So what is a cryptocurrency? A cryptocurrency is a decentralised payment system, which basically lets individuals send currency to each other over the web without the necessity for a trusted third party corresponding to a bank or monetary institution. The transactions are low-cost, and in many cases, they’re free. And likewise, the payments are pseudo nameless as well.
As well as that, the primary function is that it’s totally decentralised, which implies that there is 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 happened with Bitcoin. This creates an incredibly resilient network, which signifies that no one can change or reverse or police any of the transactions.
The high stage of anonymity in there means that it’s very hard to hint transactions. It’s not totally impossible, however it’s impractical in most cases. So crime with cryptocurrency– because you have obtained quick, borderless transactions, and you’ve got a high level of anonymity, it in concept creates a system that is ripe for exploitation. So in most cases when it’s a criminal offense on-line with on-line payment systems, then they tend to go to the creatorities and, say, we can hand over this payment info or we will stop these transactions and reverse them. And none of that can occur with Bitcoin, so it makes it ripe for criminals, in theory.
In light of this, a whole lot of completely different companies are researching into Bitcoin and looking at Bitcoin and making an attempt to understand how it works and what they’ll do to police it. It’s also been in the media quite a number of occasions, and the media, being the media, like focus on the bad side of it. So they focus very heavily on the crime with it. So if there’s a theft or a scam or something like that, then they have a tendency guilty it on Bitcoin and Bitcoin users.
So probably the most notable is probably Silk Road, which got taken down not too long ago, and through their $1.2 billion value of Bitcoins, went to pay for anything from medication to guns to hit men to these types of things. And the media, once more, very quickly responsible this on Bitcoins and say that it was the Bitcoin consumer’s fault.
However there’s actually very little proof of the size of the problem of crime with cryptocurrencies. We don’t know if there’s so much or we don’t know if there’s a little. However despite this, individuals are very quick to model it as a criminal thing, and so they neglect the legitimate makes use of, such as the fast and quick payment.
So a couple of research questions I’m 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 going on for ages. However 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 subsequent question that I might like to research as well is looking at the scale of the problem of crime with cryptocurrency. So by producing a log of known scams and thefts and things like that, we can then cross reference that with the public transaction log of all transactions and see just how much of the transactions are literally illegal and criminal. So my closing question could be, to what extent does the technology itself truly facilitate crime? By looking back at the crime logs, we can see which specific sorts of crime happen, and if it is actually the technology’s fault, or is this just the identical old crimes that we have been looking at before. And once we’ve consider these things, we are able to start to think about possible solutions to the difficulty of crime with Bitcoin.
And we can consider that the only suitable answer can be one that preserves the undermendacity values of the technology itself, which could be privacy and decentralisation. Plenty of focus from the media is to look at the criminal features of it. They usually don’t give sufficient worth to the legitimate makes use of, because Bitcoin is a technology that enables fast, quick payments, which is beneficial to anybody that is ever paid for anything on the web.
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