Recall that catching criminals who use cryptocurrencies is not a new niche. Moreover, large companies specialize in this topic. The most famous of these is Chainalysis, which has offices in three countries. At the same time, the company cooperates with the governments of at least thirty states.
Criminals of all kinds have tarnished Bitcoin’s reputation almost from the first days of the existence of the cryptocurrency. The story of Silk Road and the founder of this trading platform, Ross Ulbricht, is especially vivid in the public’s memory. However, the resistance to crime in the cryptocurrency industry is not standing still and even bearing fruit. It was recently revealed that flagged suspicious transactions in BTC in 2019 led to the arrest of alleged human trafficker Ignacio Santoyo and suspected gang leader Hector Ortiz.
In general, employees are engaged in restoring the connection between anonymous blockchain addresses with cryptocurrency and real persons. Because of this, Chainalysis is actively criticized, because in fact the company is struggling with one of the main components of blockchain assets – anonymity. Read more about the giant’s activities in our separate article.
How Bitcoin helps catch criminals
Someone Ignacio Santoyo was arrested by the Mexican security forces in April 2019. Prior to that, he had been on the wanted list for several months. Finally, a very large BTC transaction marked as suspicious helped to get on the trail of the criminal.
It seems that Santoyo completely forgot about the main rules of anonymity. He made a large transfer in one transaction with the participation of a cryptocurrency exchange, where he even left his personal data. This information greatly helped the Mexican police to quickly catch the suspect.
Hiding illegal funds in Bitcoin is pointless and even dangerous for criminals
Ortiz’s case is similar: the criminal began making large transactions in BTC worth tens of thousands of dollars, which also attracted the attention of security officials. Recall that the Bitcoin blockchain is public and available to anyone, while it is quite possible to track transfers to BTC with due persistence. Moreover, the Mexican government has recently supported programs to counter illegal cryptocurrency transactions, which means that it was even easier to cope with the task here.
Crypto exchanges registered in Mexico are required to report to the police any transaction worth more than $ 2,830 or 0.20 BTC. Criminals try not to cross this threshold in their financial flows, but sometimes they make mistakes. They usually end in arrests, Decrypt reports.
Now this tactic works only with official trading platforms, and unofficial exchanges on the darknet, of course, do not cooperate in any way with the security forces. Therefore, there is every reason to believe that their turnover may be several times higher than the official trading volumes of “white” exchanges.
In this regard, conducting a large transaction involving personal data seems to be a very sloppy act. It is possible that now the detainees were in a hurry with the transfer and simply forgot about the established rules.
Another piece of news on a related topic was published by experts from the already mentioned analytical platform Chainalysis. According to their calculations, income from trading floors on the darknet has reached its all-time high, significantly exceeding the same indicator for 2019. That is, criminality involving cryptocurrencies still remains a serious problem that needs to be dealt with.
We think the situation turned out to be quite funny. On the one hand, the criminals committed negligence and exceeded all known transfer limits, including using personal accounts. On the other hand, the authorities did not miss the opportunity and went on the trail of the intruders.
Hopefully, against the backdrop of what is happening, the reputation of cryptocurrencies in the mass perception will become a little cleaner. Yet, due to the decentralized nature, coins will serve both good and bad purposes. So you shouldn’t blame them for what is happening.