US Secret Service Holds Crypto, Praises Blockchain Technology in Reddit AMA
The United States Secret Service owns crypto, has its own NFT collection and has praised blockchain technology’s ability to fight financial crime, Reddit users learned during a recent ask-me-anything (AMA).
On May 15, representatives from the United States Secret Service San Francisco Field Office and the Bay Area Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) opened themselves up to questioning from members of the subreddit, r/cryptocurrency.
While some regulators still see crypto as a tool for scammers and fraudsters, the REACT task force applauded the public and transparent nature of blockchains as a “fantastic opportunity” for crime fighters to track the flow of money.
The Secret Service has previously pointed out that the immutable nature of the blockchain ledger means that illegal financial activity can be more easily monitored and tracked than fiat in some cases.
An upcoming Bitfinex story with Netflix involving some unlikely criminals made this very clear: it is quite difficult to launder money using blockchain.
In response to a follow-up question about how best to hide shady behavior on the blockchain, the Secret Service said that if people want to do shady things financially, it’s better to take the money in cash than crypto.
Another redditor asked if the Secret Service itself had cryptocurrency to which the agency said they were “definite holders of crypto” and described themselves as crypto “enthusiasts” in later responses. The agency said that owning crypto helps them better understand the deeper mechanisms of the crypto world.
“Pretty much most cases require some level of ELI5’ing. It’s a bit of a running joke here,” explained the agency, with the acronym “ELI5” referencing the popular subreddit r/explainlikeimfive.
Related: Crypto Is Not Criminal: US Secret Service Launches ‘Crypto Awareness Center’
When asked if they see any significant differences between cryptocrime and illegal activity in the traditional financial world, the Secret Service noted that the “vast majority” of calls and reports received by their office usually involve crypto in some way.
“They vary in many ways to fiat research, in both good and bad ways, but most notably, crypto transactions are irreversible and immutable.”
While the agencies answered a wide range of serious questions, there was also some fun to be had during the session. When a redditor asked if the Secret Service would consider launching its own “memecoin,” the agency responded by plugging its own NFT collection on OpenSea.
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