Inc. quoted Alan Cohn and Jason Weinstein, co-chairs of Steptoe’s blockchain and digital currency practice and co-founders of the Blockchain Alliance, in an article titled “Startups Helping the FBI Catch Bitcoin Criminals.” The article, published January 9, explains why startups are making and licensing forensic software to law enforcement agencies all over the world, whether it’s to intercept drug sales, money laundering, or even kidnapping ransoms.
Mr. Weinstein says the forensic software industry making tools to track bitcoin transactions is booming. “The more banks and government regulators push cryptocurrency away, the more they risk making it a place for criminals. There is no reason for any agent, or regulatory official, to be afraid of this technology, if they understand it, it can be a great asset.”
According to the article, criminals were some of the first wave of early bitcoin adopters because of a misconception that the digital currency was untraceable and completely anonymous. But now, Mr. Cohn says, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could be a criminal's worst nightmare. Every bitcoin transaction is recorded to a public ledger called the blockchain, which acts as a database that tracks every dollar ever spent in bitcoin. “Criminals should run, not walk, away from bitcoin,” Mr. Cohn adds.
The full article can be read at Inc.