The Science of Crypto Forensics Survives a Court Battle—For Now

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On March 12, Russian-Swedish citizen Roman Sterlingov was found guilty of money laundering and other violations by a federal court in Washington, DC, for used Bitcoin Foga gang that used what authorities say was hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulently obtained funds.

The objection was to announce and the US Department of Justice as a victory in crypto-enabled cases, but Sterlingov’s lawyers maintain that the case against him was wrong and they plan to appeal. They say that the old science that was used to gather evidence against him is not suitable for the purpose.

The DOJ’s investigation used blockchain forensics, a technique in which investigators examine the behavior of people using cryptocurrencies to determine the flow of money. In a wordsLisa Monaco, the deputy attorney general of the US, described the DOJ as “deeply investigating bitcoin through the blockchain” to identify Sterlingov as the mastermind behind Bitcoin Fog.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gained currency inappropriate reputation because it doesn’t count like ordinary money, but the evidence gathered in this way has brought down many criminals over the past decade. Blockchain forensics was very important the case of Ross Ulbrichtthe founder of the famous Silk Road market. But in the case of Bitcoin Fog, security has pulled the plug on this investigation to make it look better to test the crypto analysis on the test on behalf of their client. The case is “the first of its kind,” says Tor Ekeland, Sterlingov’s legal counsel. “Nobody has argued against blockchain law before, because it’s new.”

Before Sterlingov’s trial, his lawyers asked the judge to determine the admissibility of evidence from blockchain legal experts who used software from a company called Chainalysis, which supports the tedious process of filtering blockchain. He he ruled the testimony was admissible.

That decision has been recognized by Michael Gronager, CEO of Chainalysis, as a confirmation of his company and its methods. “Now we are the only company in the world with the official stamp that we can look at the blockchain and create proof,” he says. But Ekeland says he will work with Sterlingov to appeal the guilty verdict and the judge’s ruling on the legality of blockchain forensics. Sterlingov’s conviction is the latest example of this unfortunate phenomenon, says Ekeland, where “emerging science leads to unjust verdicts.”

Beth Bisbee of Chainalysis, a former head of research in the US, is critical of this behavior. “The evidence that the government presented to the jury showed the exact opposite,” says Bisbee, who testified as an expert witness in the case. “Our methods are transparent, tested, audited, and reliable.”

Natsec Threat

Until it was shut down by the US police in 2021, Bitcoin Fog provided what is known as crypto mix or crypto drop service. The money of many parties is collected, collected, and thrown into new bags, hiding where the money is kept for each party. Mixer was originally promoted as a way to promote the privacy of cryptocurrency within the reach of consumers, but it has since gone viral. he chose with the intention of spending money. Bitcoin Fog was one of the first to emerge, in 2011, making it the “longest-running bitcoin fraud operation,” according to the DOJ.

In the past few years, the US government has cracked down on the crypto market, which it considers a threat to national security. After clearing the Bitcoin Fog, the US Treasury approved Tornado Cash, another cryptocurrency, in 2022. he lowered another one, ChipMixer, is accused of being a money maker. To find out who is behind this project, researchers had to follow the crypto currency.

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