Agent Smith says Secret Service seized $102M in crypto in 254 cases since 2015

Agent Smith says Secret Service seized $102M in crypto in 254 cases since 2015

A top American official Secret Service (USSS) saysThe agency can track the flow BitcoinAnd other cryptocurrencies inIt works in a similar way to email addresses. seizedMore than $102 Million in cryptoAll 254 cases since 2015.

Assistant director of investigations USSS David SmithCNBC was informed by CNBC that investigators can trace transactions much more easily than fiat because of the transparency and immutability inherent in blockchain ledgers. inSome cases.

“One of the guiding principles of the blockchain is that it is a public ledger that’s shared and everyone with a little bit of computing power has access to it, including law enforcement,” said Smith.

“So the secret service hasn’t been doing anything that wasn’t the original intent of the blockchain. We’re just using the same tracking and tracing mechanisms that were intended.”

Agent SmithMore than $100 Million inThe cryptocurrency has been seizedBy the Secret Service inInternational operations targeting cyber-fraudsters since 2015Agents and analysts conduct investigations out of the Global Investigative Operations Center(GIOC at the Secret Service headquarters in Washington D.C.

CryptoIs seized inA variety of scenarios are possible. Around$1.7 million in BitcoinWas seized inA case from March, inThis an EstonianMan was sentenced for 66 months inHis role in the slaying of his wife led to him being sent to prison inAt least 13 ransomware attacks on international targets AnotherOperation saw the end of an international money laundering operation in Romania, and another involved in a RussianAgain involved in cybercriminal ring in ransomware.

SmithLikened to tracing cryptoTo trace an email address

“When you follow a digital currency wallet, it’s not different than an email address that has some correlating identifiers. Once a person and another person make a transaction, and that gets into the blockchain, we have the ability to follow that email address or wallet address, if you will, and trace it through the blockchain.”

Smith said that criminals often attempt to obscure their trail from law enforcement by making as many transfers as possible, which he likened to as a “house of mirrors”. Stolen BitcoinAs a way to avoid volatility, stablecoins are often used to convert digital currencies into stablecoins.

“Because, you know, the criminals, they’re humans too. They want to avoid some of that market volatility associated with some of the major coins,” he said.

The U.S. Secret ServiceThis is the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the country initially created to safeguard the nation’s financial infrastructure. FoundedAs a branch of U.S. Treasury Department in1865, their sole purpose was to combat counterfeiting of U.S. currencies.

TodayThe agency falls under the DepartmentOf Homeland Securityand often conducts joint investigation with other federal agencies such as the Federal BureauOf Investigation (FBI), Cybersecurity & Infrastucture Security Agency(CISA) and international agencies to accomplish their objectives.

On Tuesday, the CISA and FBI. TreasuryIssued an alert about North-KoreanCyber threats to blockchain companies funded by cybercriminals inResponse to $650 Million Ronin Bridge hack.

Related: WhatThe launch of the FBI cryptoTask force means for digital asset space

In February, the USSS launched a cryptocurrency awareness hub aimed at raising public awareness about digital asset security and to feature the agency’s work inWe are taking steps to stop the illicit use digital assets.

“Secret Service: Safeguarding the next generation currency.” Source: U.S. Secret ServiceYouTube

OnAccording to the agency’s website digital assets are being increasingly used to facilitate a growing array of crimes, including fraud schemes, ransomware, and other scams. HoweverThe agency also pointed out that cryptocurrencies were not automatically criminal.