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Why This Former Intelligence Officer Thinks Crypto Crime Fears Are ‘Exaggerated’

How is your work at Chainalysis different from your previous roles in intelligence?

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Very different. There are some reactionary aspects, but there are also proactive efforts made possible by increased visibility into the crypto space. The blockchain is public, it’s live, and we monitor it in real time. This is a game changer for organizations.

For example, looking at ANZ stablecoin transfers, people were very excited about the fact that they could move $30 million in 30 minutes. But if you flip it over and say, “Well, someone stole the money and in half an hour he moved $30 million,” that’s just plain insanity. It is such situations that require active investigation.

Given how close you are to the criminal side of cryptocurrencies, do you think broader concerns about fraud and crime in this area are justified?

It’s definitely exaggerated. A key element of cryptocurrencies is transparency. The fact that we can demonstrate the crimes and illegal activities we see on-chain, no one can do that with fiat currency. It is impossible. We don’t know how much cash Pablo Escobar hid and how much the rats ate. In cryptocurrencies, rats are like tornado cash or cryptomixers. They take a small portion of it away, but you still know where those funds are.

This trust in cryptographic security and transparency is demonstrated by the increasing number of institutions entering the field. They don’t invest for no reason. They’ve been eyeing this for a long time. Because the underlying technology can be a huge success factor for them.

Bitcoin and other digital assets are often viewed as havens for criminals.credit:bloomberg

How hard is it to track something like TornadoCash or Monero? Are they making it more difficult for law enforcement?

Privacy Coins have been used by some bad actors, including ransomware groups, to obfuscate transactions, but have not seen as much adoption as hoped. One reason is that privacy coins are not as liquid as Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

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Especially now that many exchanges have delisted privacy coins following regulatory guidance, they are becoming increasingly impractical. It’s only useful if you can convert or convert, which is much more difficult with privacy coins.

What are your personal thoughts on all the broader aspects of Web3, NFTs, DeFi, etc.?

I think the underlying technology is very important and people have great ideas about how they are trying to solve real world problems. Traditional Cryptocurrencies – There are thousands of cryptocurrencies and Not all serve a purpose or solve a problem. But when you look at things like NFTs, they’re a great concept.

The components of smart contracts and their application are great technologies like proving the origin of wine and mitigating counterfeiting. Provenance is how his NFTs are available around the world.

DeFi is a new way of doing markets. People are not always happy with the standard service they get from the banking sector. Obviously, that’s not for everyone, and doing due diligence is important for anyone investing in any market.

The current Web3 seems to serve people who are already on Web3. There is a pretty big barrier between adopting all these highly idealized use cases and then pushing them into the mainstream. Do you think it will happen anytime soon, or will that barrier remain?

No, I’m sure he will come. Something similar happened when we looked at traditional finance. Capability development, organizational adaptation, and front-end solution delivery.

The challenge we’re talking about is how do we make it as easy for consumers to trust and use as anything else? It’s just not, so once that bit is done, it will be mass market.

I think the development will start. And I think we’ll see that in the next 18 months, with pressure from governments and the focus on the crypto industry.

Why This Former Intelligence Officer Thinks Crypto Crime Fears Are ‘Exaggerated’

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