What exactly is Cryptocurrency In addition to Bitcoin?
The Web is section of society and is shaped by society. And until society is really a crime-free zone, the Web won’t be a crime-free zone.
So what is a cryptocurrency? A cryptocurrency is really a decentralised payment system, which basically lets people send currency together over the web without the necessity for a reliable alternative party such as 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.
As well as that, the main feature is that it’s totally decentralised, meaning that there’s not one central point of authority or anything like that. The implications of this is completed by everyone having a full copy of all the transactions that have ever happened with Bitcoin. This creates a remarkably resilient network, meaning that no one can change or reverse or police some of the transactions.
The higher level of anonymity within means that it’s very difficult to trace transactions. It’s not totally impossible, but it’s impractical generally in most cases. So crime with cryptocurrency– because you’ve got fast, borderless transactions, and you’ve got a higher level of anonymity, it theoretically creates something that is ripe for exploitation. So typically when it’s an offense online with online payment systems, they tend to go to the authorities and, say, we are able to hand over this payment information or we are able to 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 of this, plenty of different agencies are researching into Bitcoin and taking a look at Bitcoin and trying to know the way it works and what they are able to do to police it. It’s already been in the media many times, and the media, being the media bitkub, like focus on 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 that way, they often blame it on Bitcoin and Bitcoin users.
So probably the most notable is probably 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 types of things. And the media, again, rapidly the culprit this on Bitcoins and say that it was the Bitcoin user’s fault.
But there’s actually hardly any proof of the scale of the issue of crime with cryptocurrencies. We don’t know if there’s a whole lot or we don’t know if there’s a little. But regardless of this, people are very quick to brand it as a criminal thing, and they your investment legitimate uses, like the fast and quick payment.
So a few research questions I’m taking a look at in this area is what does crime with Bitcoin seem like? So plenty of people will claim 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 the next question that I’d like to research as well is taking a look at the scale of the issue of crime with cryptocurrency. So by generating a log of known scams and thefts and things like that, we may then cross reference that with people transaction log of all transactions and see just how much of the transactions are in fact illegal and criminal. So my final question would be, from what extent does the technology itself actually facilitate crime? By looking back at the crime logs, we are able to see which particular types of crime happen, and if it is actually the technology’s fault, or is this just the same old crimes that we’ve been taking a look at before. And once we’ve consider these things, we are able to start to consider possible solutions to the issue of crime with Bitcoin.
And we are able to consider that the only real suitable solution would be one that preserves the underlying values of the technology itself, which may be privacy and decentralisation. Lots of focus from the media is always to go through the criminal areas of it. And they don’t give enough value to the legitimate uses, because Bitcoin is really a technology that enables fast, quick payments, that will be helpful to anyone that’s ever paid for anything on the web.