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FBI Currently Investigating 130 Crypto Related Cases

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reportedly revealed that it is working on 130 cryptocurrency-related investigations, citing an increase in illegal activity facilitated by crypto payments. These cases “encompass crimes such as human trafficking, illicit drug sales, kidnapping and ransomware attacks.”

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

FBI’s 130 Crypto-Related Cases

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reportedly “has 130 cases tied to cryptocurrencies,” according to Supervisory Special Agent Kyle Armstrong. Speaking at the Crypto Evolved conference Wednesday in New York, he was quoted by Bloomberg:

The cases ‘threat tagged’ to virtual currencies encompass crimes such as human trafficking, illicit drug sales, kidnapping and ransomware attacks.

FBI Currently Investigating 130 Crypto-Related CasesArmstrong is in charge of the FBI’s virtual currency initiative, which has been around for about three years, the publication noted.

While acknowledging that his agency “takes a neutral view on digital tokens, he noted several pros and cons,” the news outlet conveyed and quoted him explaining that the FBI has noticed an increase in illegal activity facilitated by cryptocurrency payments. “There are thousands of cases in the bureau, so it is a small sliver at this point,” he elaborated.

Crypto Use on the Dark Web

According to Armstrong, “the opioid epidemic” has become a focus of the FBI as the agency sees “a surge in drug abuse,” enabled by the dark web. Moreover, he claimed that the agency has also “seen a significant rise in extortion schemes related to virtual currencies on the southwest border of the U.S.”

FBI Currently Investigating 130 Crypto-Related CasesIn its budget request for Fiscal Year 2018, the FBI asked for “80 positions and $21.6 million” to improve its investigative technology to combat cybercrime. The agency cited, “Some of our criminal investigators face the challenge of identifying online pedophiles who hide their crimes and identities behind layers of anonymizing technologies, or drug traffickers who use virtual currencies to obscure their transactions.”

On Monday, the House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to help prevent the illicit use of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, dash, zcash, and monero. This bill shortly follows a testimony by a high-ranking official of the U.S. Secret Service before the House of Representatives Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance. He asked Congressfor help in preventing the illicit use of cryptocurrencies.

Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it has seized “nearly 2,000 bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, with an approximate value of more than $20 million,” in a nationwide undercover operation targeting darknet vendors.

Authored by:  Kevin Helms

First published: https://news.bitcoin.com

Date of publication: 28.06.2018

Images courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Blockchains in Charity – An improvement?

Over the years, decentralized systems have been used several times for charity funding. A large number of charities and fundraising foundations have started to implement blockchain technology for their donations. Usually, those are the two main networks of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, Bitcoin and Ethereum. The charities belong to various and significantly different sectors of society. Many of them are trying to solve issues regarding food, education, and humanitarian crises.

Blockchain Implementations

There are a couple of organizations worth mentioning when speaking about blockchain use cases for Charity. The list includes organizations such as The World Food Programme, the Red Cross, Wikimedia, EFF, Save the Children, or Alice, which all have participated in various blockchain-based projects.

Most notably, technologically advanced organizations like Alice have used the Ethereum platform to facilitate donations in the past. It is a platform where everyone can start a fundraiser for a charitable cause. It is easy to host your own project, and foster cryptocurrency donations to solve the issue. Additionally, they offer an excellent feedback platform that helps donors to trace the impact of their contribution, giving them an edge over other fundraising platforms. Also, the World Food Programme (WFP), which started as an experimental project in 2017, has been able to raise funds for over 10,000 Syrian refugees using cryptocurrencies. These funds are used to provide food and essential social amenities for the refugees.

Arguments for Blockchain Charity

Blockchain charity prevents a whole lot of problems associated with fundraising. When funds are raised in a conventional way, sometimes money goes missing in transaction fees or organisation costs, before it reaches its destination. Blockchains cancel this risk, as transactions are traceable and organized. They offer safe, transparent, and remote transactions. The main worry about charitable giving is often the negative influence of organisation fees. Many administrators and middlemen involved with charity foundations might take “their share” or be outright involved in corruption. As such, they are not dedicated to the safety and management of fallible human beings.

In the event of a theft, blockchains would provide the necessary information that something is going wrong. These worries can hang on the shoulders of blockchain technology. Blockchain-based charity helps to cut out all excesses, and produces the maximum benefit for the people that are in need of help. Last year in March, Britain’s Start Network teamed up with the social enterprise startup Disberse to use blockchain technology for charitable purposes. The network comprises of about 42 leading aid agencies such as Oxfam, Care International and Save the Children.

Disberse is a fund management platform owned by the British, that aims for transparent and efficient financial aid. The agency allows donors, governments, and NGOs to transfer and trace funds using distributed ledger technology. It helps them by providing detailed information for auditing, reporting and compliance trials. Recently, The English Heritage Organisation, a UK-based charity that oversees the care for historic sites, saw the great features that blockchains had to offer and implemented them to develop new ways of interacting with donors. The charity partnered with Giftcoin to allow donors the tracking of payments from the time they were made to when the funds are being spent.

Decentralisation of technology has proven itself to be efficient. It can help catering to war refugees, help provide support for natural disaster survivors around the world, or be used to send the less privileged to school by giving and raising funds via blockchain payments. The application of blockchains for charity purposes has brought grand innovation schemes to the technology as it allows donations for charity to become traceable and comprehensible, thereby making the whole system protected and fool-proof.

Featured Image via BigStock.

Authored By Zoran Spirkovski

First published: June 2, 2018 on https://www.crypto-news.net

 

 

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Parity Says ‘No Intention’ To Split Ethereum Over Fund Recovery

 Rachel Rose O’Leary   

 Apr 26, 2018 at 09:00 UTC  |  Updated  Apr 26, 2018 at 09:32 UTC

Parity Technologies issued a statement Thursday stating it has no plans to move forward with a code change that would result in an ethereum blockchain split.

Named EIP-999, the contentious code change would recover the $264 million lost due to a code fault in Parity wallets in November 2017.

Signed by co-founder of the company Gavin Wood and co-founder and CEO Jutta Steiner, the statement emphasizes that the company has “no intention to split the ethereum chain,” but rather, plans to “work with the community to find a path forward.”

The statement continues:

“We have all dedicated a great deal of time and effort to developing the ethereum ecosystem and have no intention of harming what we have helped build.”

Part of an ongoing debate on the fund recovery, EIP-999 has been a point of division within the ethereum community, with developers warning that the polarized sentiment could result in a split.

Speaking in the statement, Parity said it is “deeply sorry” to the users that lost money as a result of bugs, continuing that it believes that those who have lost money, do “have a case for attempting to recover the property.”

Disagreement as to whether funds lost due to bugs on ethereum should be recovered has been ongoing for several months. Last week, developer Alex Van de Sande warned in a developer meeting if the current recovery attempt was implemented, “it will generate a contentious hard fork.”

Speaking in the statement, Parity said that the company has implemented more robust security practices since the fund freeze last year, including an improved development process for smart contracts, and a partnership with auditing firm Trail of Bits.

Paper chain image via Shutterstock

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