The Indictment of Russian Officials By Robert Mueller May Kickstart Stricter Regulations
As part of a recently concluded investigation into a dozen Russian officials involved an attempt at sabotaging the US Presidential elections in 2016 using cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin, to fund their activities, a possible shift towards even more restrictive regulations may be on the horizon.
The indictment charges by the US DOJ have highlighted Bitcoin and the criminal applications many companies and individuals are utilizing through the coin. Through Bitcoin usage, the indicted group of Russians maintained anonymity and first-hand confrontation for business with traditional banks, granting them a much easier time with their funding and presence due to unreliable identification.
As a result of these criminal activities and others, cryptocurrencies could draw further regulatory enforcement as a means of eliminating further illegal uses. On the 11th of July, Donald Trump, the US President, executed an order to create a specialized team in the Department of Justice to continuously investigate and apprehend responsible figures involved in fraudulent crimes through cryptocurrencies within the US.
Despite a history with criminal acts, Bitcoin reports and studies indicate that the cryptocurrency is not as much of a threat as conceived. Several global firms and agencies have published research and reports explaining that digital currencies are not incredibly risky in regards to facilitating criminal activity.
Good & Bad
The FSTB on laundering and terrorism assessment that criminal organizations often tend to avoid using cryptocurrencies. Reports from the UK and Canada have offered the same findings. Comparing Bitcoin’s current state to the early days of the internet, Jerry Brito, CEO of Coin Center explained that both scales of the moral compass had access to it, either for bad or good.
The dozen involved individuals from Russia were apprehended through Bitcoin’s blockchain, further highlighting the benefits of a public ledger which led authorities to the indictments. Bitcoin is virtually anonymous in nature as each user can maintain their concealed identities although every single transaction ever done on Bitcoin’s framework can be tracked and identified. The investigation found many of the involved individuals through tracking these transactions.
Despite more global acceptance, Bitcoin regulations will need to be carefully studied to ensure the coin's future and safety.