Not only protecting the president, the Secret Service also investigates crimes related to cryptocurrencies and for that it closely observes the market.
The United States Secret Service, a federal agency under the Department of Homeland Security, has seized more than USD $102 million in cryptocurrencies from criminal cases.
The seizure has taken place over the last seven years, starting from 254 cyber fraud-related investigations according to agency data cited by CNBC . Known primarily for its role in protecting the president and top U.S. officials, the Secret Service is an agency that is also charged with the prevention and investigation of counterfeit money.
In an interview for CNBC the deputy director of the Secret Service’s Bureau of Investigations, David Smith, said analysts and agents are actively tracking the flow of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin the biggest and most popular cryptocurrency in the world. It is a decentralized digital currency that enables users to make trustless peer-to-peer transactions. The activity is similar to old-fashioned surveillance.
“When you follow a digital currency wallet, it’s no different than an email address a place where cryptocurrency can be sent to and from, in the form of a string of letters and numbers. that has some correlated identifiers.” Smith told the news outlet, and continued:
Once a person and another person make a transaction, and that enters the blockchain, we have the ability to follow that email address or wallet a place where cryptocurrency users can store, send and receive digital assets. address, so to speak, and track it through the blockchain.
Secret Service keeps an eye on the Bitcoin market
During the interview, the deputy director mentioned some examples of cases of financial investigations that have resulted in the seizure of digital digital technologies are these electronic tools that have the ability to generate, store or even process data. assets. One of the cases was an investigation together with the Romanian National Police that scammed nearly 900 people in the US in a scheme involving fake online advertisements for luxury goods auctions.
The fraudsters involved in that scheme turned to cryptocurrencies to launder stolen funds from victims, according to the federal agency. Other cases included attacks ransomware ransomware is a type of malware used by hackers to steal or encrypt their victims’ files to extort them for a ransom in exchange for file decryption or restoration. to U.S. companies led by Russian and North Korean hackers who solicited payments in Bitcoin as ransom for the return of the seized data.
The agent detailed that in many of these cases, the offenders focus on “the most important thing to do”. muddying the waters and making efforts to obfuscate their activities ” with cryptocurrencies by sending the assets to different addresses to make it difficult to trace the illicit funds. Once the Secret Service identifies illegal activity, it works to “ delve a little deeper into these transactions and deconstruct them. “, agregó Smith.
On the other hand, he stressed that one of the elements that can make tracking activity difficult for agents is the fact that cryptocurrencies move money “ at a faster rate than the traditional format “. Although Smith acknowledged that this feature can make digital assets more attractive, not only to criminals, but also to consumers.
Secret Service analysts have been developing strategies to perfect the tracking of cryptocurrencies involved in illicit activities. One thing they’ve discovered is that criminals frequently change change — a concept relevant to cryptocurrencies that use the UTXO model — is the number of coins sent back to a user after they use their unspent outputs to initiate a transaction. Bitcoin por stablecoins to save themselves from price drops. That is why they are now closely watching the market movements.
“ Because, you know, criminals are human too. They want to avoid some of that market an area or arena, online or offline, in which commercial dealings are conducted. volatility a statistical measure of dispersion of returns, measured by using the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index. associated with some of the major currencies. ” , Dijo Smith.
US government pays more attention to crypto
The Secret Service is not the only U.S. agency that makes cryptocurrency cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that use cryptographic technologies to secure their operation. seizures from criminal investigations. In fact, the number seized by the agency since 2015 seems relatively small compared to that of other federal entities. As reported by DiarioBitcoin the IRS seized $3.5 billion worth of cryptocurrencies , solo para el periodo fiscal de 2021.
According to a November report, 93% of all seizures made by the IRS Criminal Investigations (CI) team involved digital currencies like Bitcoin a figure that has been on the rise in recent years.
Smith’s recent statements are the latest indicator that U.S. government agencies are increasingly leading efforts within the digital currency currency is a medium of exchange that defines value. space. A few weeks ago, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an order which marked a first step towards establishing a national policy for digital assets.
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Article by Hannah Estefania Perez / DiarioBitcoin
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