Bitcoin use uncovers massive child porn ring

Bitcoin use uncovers massive child porn ring

Cryptocurrency isn’t as anonymous as some would like to believe

Cryptocurrency isn’t anonymous, nor was it ever meant to be. Satoshi Nakamoto laid this out in his original Bitcoin white paper, but there are those who still believe that there’s no way to get caught when they use crypto for nefarious purposes. 338 people from around the world would tell them that they’re wrong, given that their crypto activity has just led them to be arrested for being involved in child pornography and child exploitation.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) was able to follow crypto trails to track down, with the help of several other law enforcement departments around the world, individuals who were participating in what is being described as the largest child pornography ring in the world. The arrests span the entire globe and include citizens of the US, Canada, South Korea, the UK, Brazil, German, Australia and others.

Included in the investigation were officials with the IRS. One of these, Don Fort, stated in a DOJ press release about the arrests, “Through the sophisticated tracing of bitcoin transactions, IRS-CI special agents were able to determine the location of the Darknet server, identify the administrator of the website and ultimately track down the website server’s physical location in South Korea. This largescale criminal enterprise that endangered the safety of children around the world is no more. Regardless of the illicit scheme, and whether the proceeds are virtual or tangible, we will continue to work with our federal and international partners to track down these disgusting organizations and bring them to justice.”

Crypto isn’t anonymous, nor will it ever be. By design, it is meant to work just as any other currency does and the fact that it leaves a permanent, immutable record should be enough of an indication to show how easily it can be traced.

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