Exactly what Cryptocurrency And also Bitcoin?
The Web is section of society and is shaped by society. And until society is just a crime-free zone, the Web won’t be a crime-free zone.
So what is a cryptocurrency? A cryptocurrency is just a decentralised payment system, which basically lets people send currency together over the web without the need for a reliable third party like a bank or financial institution. The transactions are cheap, and in many cases, they’re free. And also, the payments are pseudo anonymous as well.
In addition to that, the main feature is that it’s totally decentralised, meaning that there’s no central point of authority or anything like that. The implications with this is performed by everyone having the full copy of all transactions that have ever happened with Bitcoin. This creates a remarkably resilient network, meaning that there is no-one to change or reverse or police any of the transactions.
The high level of anonymity in there implies that it’s quite difficult to trace transactions. It’s not totally impossible, but it’s impractical generally in most cases bitcoin. So crime with cryptocurrency– because you’ve got fast, borderless transactions, and you’ve got a high level of anonymity, it the theory is that creates a system that’s ripe for exploitation. So typically when it’s a crime online with online payment systems, chances are they tend to visit the authorities and, say, we can hand over this payment information or we can stop these transactions and reverse them. And none of that could happen with Bitcoin, therefore it causes it to be ripe for criminals, in theory.
In light with this, lots of different agencies are researching into Bitcoin and looking at Bitcoin and trying to understand how it works and what they are able to do to police it. It’s already been in the media quite a few times, and the media, being the media, like focus on the bad side of it. So they really focus very heavily on the crime with it. So if there’s a theft or a con or something like this, chances are they tend to blame it on Bitcoin and Bitcoin users.
So the absolute most notable might be Silk Road, which got taken down recently, and through their $1.2 billion worth of Bitcoins, went to pay for anything from drugs to guns going to men to those sorts of things. And the media, again, very quickly to blame this on Bitcoins and say so it was the Bitcoin user’s fault.
But there’s actually hardly any proof of the scale of the problem of crime with cryptocurrencies. We don’t know if there’s a great deal or we don’t know if there’s a little. But despite this, people are extremely quick to brand it as a criminal thing, and they forget the legitimate uses, such as the fast and quick payment.
So several research questions I’m looking at of this type is what does crime with Bitcoin appear to be? So lots of people will say that scams and thefts have already been going on for ages. However the means through that 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 another question that I’d like to analyze 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 such things as that, we can then cross reference that with the general public transaction log of transactions and see just how much of the transactions are in reality illegal and criminal. So my final question will be, as to the extent does the technology itself actually facilitate crime? By looking back at the crime logs, we can see which particular sorts of crime happen, and if it is actually the technology’s fault, or is this just the same kind of crimes that we’ve been looking at before. And once we’ve consider these exact things, we can start to take into account possible solutions to the problem of crime with Bitcoin.
And we can consider that the only suitable solution will be one which preserves the underlying values of the technology itself, which may be privacy and decentralisation. A lot of focus from the media would be to look at the criminal aspects of it. And they don’t give enough value to the legitimate uses, because Bitcoin is just a technology that allows fast, quick payments, that is beneficial to anyone that’s ever taken care of anything on the web.