In a recent discussion at the US Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Senator Sherrod Campbell Brown spoke about regulatory concerns in the cryptocurrency space wherein he stated that the “bad guys” would always find a way to stay a step ahead of the emerging technologies in the cryptocurrency space. He opined that other countries like North Korea, China, and Russia were always a step ahead in the matter of cyber security.
Peter Van Valkenburgh, the Director of Research at CoinCenter spoke about the dangers of cryptocurrency as it concerned various aspects of law enforcement, money laundering, human trafficking, and drugs. He also spoke about the ways in which the “bad guys” could be stopped in the early stages from exploiting such emerging technologies.
According to Peter, criminals were usually the earliest adopters of new technologies. In addition, if criminals did not use the emerging technologies then the technology would not be worth anything. He added:
“NASCAR was a phenomenon that was born out of bootleggers outrunning the cops during prohibition, technological innovation and ultimately something not so bad”
Peter opined that there were movements of disruption and problems which had to be addressed. In the case of Bitcoin, he felt that it was a “positive story especially in the United States of America”.
He stated that FinCEN [Financial Crimes Enforcement Network] was one of the first financial regulators to say that cryptocurrency exchanges were required to know their customers and also regularly report suspicious activities. Thus, when an individual entered the cryptocurrency space to buy a Bitcoin, their names would be recorded provided they bought the Bitcoin in an American based exchange platform.
Peter also spoke about the transactions within the Bitcoin network but was not through a cryptocurrency exchange. He stated that such transactions would be recorded on the public ledger and the law enforcement agency was extremely capable of analyzing the data and identifying the Bitcoin address of the individual who was responsible for the criminal activity. He added:
“I’ve even talked to folks who have said that they now prefer working cases where the illicit funds are moving through the Bitcoin network rather than calling up five or six international correspondent banks that don’t keep good records or have shell accounts. The public ledger is one record to query and it’s perfect, if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t work”