The Web is part of society and is shaped by society. And till society is a crime-free zone, the Web won’t be against the law-free zone.
So what is a cryptocurrency? A cryptocurrency is a decentralised payment system, which basically lets people send currency to each other over the web without the need for a trusted third party such as a bank or monetary institution. The transactions are cheap, and in lots of 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 isn’t any single central point of authority or anything like that. The implications of this is done by everybody having a full copy of all the transactions that have ever happened with Bitcoin. This creates an incredibly resilient network, which implies that no one can change or reverse or police any of the transactions.
The high degree of anonymity in there signifies that it’s very hard to hint transactions. It is not totally impossible, however it’s impractical in most cases. So crime with cryptocurrency– because you’ve obtained fast, borderless transactions, and you have got a high degree of anonymity, it in idea creates a system that’s ripe for exploitation. So in most cases when it’s a criminal offense online with online payment systems, then they have an inclination to go to the creatorities and, say, we can hand over this payment information or we can cease these transactions and reverse them. And none of that can happen with Bitcoin, so it makes it ripe for criminals, in theory.
In light of this, a whole lot of totally different agencies are researching into Bitcoin and looking at Bitcoin and attempting to understand how it works and what they’ll do to police it. It is also been in the media quite a few occasions, and the media, being the media, like deal with 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 tend guilty it on Bitcoin and Bitcoin users.
So the most notable is probably Silk Road, which acquired taken down recently, and thru their $1.2 billion price of Bitcoins, went to pay for anything from medication to weapons to hit men to these sorts of things. And the media, again, very quickly to blame this on Bitcoins and say that it was the Bitcoin user’s fault.
But there’s actually very little evidence of the dimensions of the problem of crime with cryptocurrencies. We do not know if there’s rather a lot or we don’t know if there’s a little. But despite this, individuals are very quick to model it as a criminal thing, they usually overlook the legitimate makes use of, such because the fast and quick payment.
So a few research questions I am looking at in this space is what does crime with Bitcoin look like? So lots of people will say that scams and thefts have been happening for ages. But 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 following question that I would like to research as well is looking at the scale of the problem of crime with cryptocurrency. So by generating a log of known scams and thefts and things like that, we are able to then cross reference that with the public transaction log of all transactions and see just how much of the transactions are actually unlawful and criminal. So my last question can be, to what extent does the technology itself truly facilitate crime? By looking back on the crime logs, we are able to see which explicit sorts of crime happen, and if it is definitely the technology’s fault, or is this just the identical old crimes that we have been looking at before. And once we have consider these things, we can start to think about potential options to the difficulty of crime with Bitcoin.
And we will consider that the only suitable solution could be one which preserves the undermendacity values of the technology itself, which could be privacy and decentralisation. Lots of focus from the media is to look at the criminal points of it. And so they don’t give enough worth to the legitimate uses, because Bitcoin is a technology that enables quick, quick payments, which is beneficial to anyone that’s ever paid for anything on the web.
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