The Web is element of society and is shaped by society. And until society is really a crime-free zone, the Web won't be described as a crime-free zone.
So what's a crypto currency? A Bitcoin
is just a decentralised payment system, which basically lets people send currency together over the net with no necessity for a respected third party like a bank or financial institution. The transactions are cheap, and oftentimes, they're free. And also, the payments are pseudo anonymous as well.
Along with that, the key feature is that it's totally decentralised, meaning that there's no central point of authority or anything like that. The implications of that is completed by everyone having a whole copy of most transactions that have ever happened with Bitcoin. This creates an amazingly resilient network, meaning that there's no-one to alter or reverse or police a number of the transactions.
The advanced degree of anonymity inside shows that it's extremely tough to trace transactions. It's not totally impossible, but it's impractical generally in most cases. So crime with crypto currency-- because you've got fast, borderless transactions, and you've got a advanced level of anonymity, it theoretically creates something that's ripe for exploitation. So generally when it's a crime online with online payment systems, chances are they tend to go to the authorities and, say, we can hand over this payment information or we are able to stop these transactions and reverse them. And none of that could happen with Bitcoin, therefore it causes it to be ripe for criminals, in theory.
In light with this, many different agencies are researching into Bitcoin and considering Bitcoin and attempting to know how it works and what they have the ability to do to police it. It's been in the media many times, and the media, being the media, like give awareness of the bad side of it. So they focus very heavily on the crime with it. So if there exists a theft or even a con or something similar to this, odds are they are likely to blame it on Bitcoin and Bitcoin users.
So the most notable might be Silk Road, which got taken down recently, and through their $1.2 billion worth of Bitcoins, visited fund anything from drugs to guns hitting men to those forms of things. And the media, again, rapidly to blame this on Bitcoins and say that it was the Bitcoin user's fault.
But there's actually very little proof the scale of the problem of crime with cryptocurrencies. We don't know if there exists a lot or we don't know if there exists a little. But regardless of this, people are really quick to brand it as a criminal thing, and they forget the legitimate uses, like the fast and quick payment.
So several research questions I'm considering in this area is what does crime with Bitcoin seem like? So a lot of people will claim that scams and thefts have been going on for ages. Nevertheless the means through they happen changes with the technology. So a Victorian street swindler would practically be doing something very dissimilar to a 419 Nigerian prince scammer.
So the next question that I'd want to analyze as well is taking into consideration the scale of the problem of crime with cryptocurrency. So by generating a log of known scams and thefts and things such as for example that, we will then cross reference that with the general public transaction log of all transactions and see simply how much of the transactions are in fact illegal and criminal. So my final question would be, as to the extent does the technology itself actually facilitate crime? By looking back at the crime logs, we are able to see which particular types of crime happen, and if it is actually the technology's fault, or is this just the same type of crimes that we've been considering before. And once we've consider these specific things, we are able to start to think about possible answers to the matter of crime with Bitcoin.
And we are able to consider that the only real suitable solution would be the the one that preserves the underlying values of the technology itself, which is privacy and decentralisation. Plenty of focus from the media is always to think about the criminal facets of it. And they do not really give enough value to the legitimate uses, because Bitcoin is just a technology that enables fast, quick payments, that will be useful to anyone that's ever paid for anything on the web.