The Secret Service says blockchain is a “fantastic opportunity” to track money; It also has an NFT collection of Benzinga

The Secret Service says blockchain is a “fantastic opportunity” to track money;  It also has an NFT collection of Benzinga


Benzinga – Want to keep your financial transactions hidden from law enforcement? The US Secret Service has some analogous advice: “Use cash.”

The agency, along with a California crime task force, discussed how they solve cryptocrime in a lengthy “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit, offering insights into pork slaughter fraud, the Secret Service’s NFT collection and the best way to keep transactions hidden for law enforcement.

The Secret Service’s San Francisco Field Office, along with the Bay Area Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team, answered questions on the r/CryptoCurrency subreddit for two hours on Monday in an effort to educate crypto users.

While crypto may be the currency of choice for some thieves and Ponzi scammers, the officials said the blockchain could actually be a goldmine for tracking financial crimes.

“Blockchain gives us an amazing opportunity to track the flow of money,” the REACT working group said.

The officials are taking action after last year achieved a record for crypto hacks. Globally, nearly $776 million was stolen in 32 separate attacks, mostly on decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, according to data from Chainalysis.

A US Secret Service agent has a Reddit confirmation message.

Bitcoin white paper ‘required reading’ for Secret Service agents
In addition to protecting American leaders, the Secret Service also guards the nation’s financial infrastructure. The agency’s San Francisco office has a group of special agents and analysts dedicated to cryptocrime, and said the Bitcoin White Paper is “required reading for all new agents on our squad!”

REACT is a task force of local detectives and federal partners established by the California legislature in the late 1990s to deal with “high-tech crimes.” The team has focused on so-called hog-slaughtering crypto thefts – where a fraudster gains the trust of the victim and then steals cryptocurrency – and says they have recovered millions in stolen funds.

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“We CAN and DO recover funds and return them to victims,” REACT said, noting that it has returned stolen crypto to 17 victims in the past nine months.

The Secret Service assured Redditors that law enforcement has tools to monitor crypto as robustly as traditional finance. That said, the agency noted that the share of money laundering done in crypto is less than money laundering that happens in fiat currency, according to a US Treasury Department report from last year. REACT answers a question on Reddit.

Secret Service finds crime victims on Reddit
In addition to dealing with cryptocrime and recovering funds, even finding victims can be challenging for law enforcement. The Secret Service said it found a victim on Reddit who had posted about an investment scam but failed to report it through official channels such as the Internet Crime Complaint Center, also known as IC3.

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“Every case is different, but no hope if you don’t report,” the Secret Service said. “True story – we came across a victim who reported their pig slaughter on Reddit, but not IC3 or the police. We had to reach out via Reddit to get the victim to file an IC3 report. That victim will get their money back as a result The Secret Service responds to a question on Reddit.

The Secret Service has a NFT collection. Some questions and answers were a little easier on the forum. A Redditor asked if law enforcement could track transactions on Monero, the cryptocurrency that uses a privacy-focused blockchain. Another user chimed in and said they are able to track it. “Call me,” the Secret Service replied.

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Another Reddit question asked the Secret Service if they had ever considered issuing a token or memecoin, addressing the agency as “Mr. Secret”. Secret Service linked to the NFT collection it created and minted last year. It has agents at locations in San Francisco, including Alcatraz and Chinatown.

“We are trying to learn as much about the various digital assets in this room,” the Secret Service said, signing the message “Mr. Secret.”

Read the full article on The Block

© 2023 The Block Crypto, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice.

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Read the original article about Benzinga


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