For years, naysayers have been vocal that Bitcoin is an enabler of illicit activities. They have often been citing the numerous cases where Crypto, in general, has been used in the dark web for illicit activities such as money laundering, child abuse, terror financing, tax evasion, etc.
However, unsealed court documents indicate that investigators have successfully used Bitcoin transactions in intelligence gathering. In so doing, a multilateral team of investigators has been able to net users of a major dark web child exploitation platform. Consequently, dozens of children have been rescued ending a series of abuses and bringing offenders to justice.
Using Bitcoin For Good
Court documents reveal that influential agencies such as Korean National Police, the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA), Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Internal Revenue Service, and Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) conducted the investigations. They took a multilateral approach and were able to infiltrate the dark web and put an end to the sophisticated web of crime.
The investigators were able to trace Bitcoin transactions that the key suspect has been using to manage the finances of the illegal activities. Consequently, a 23-year-old Jong-Woo Son was arrested and has been charged with crimes of operating a Video Site for child abuse.
According to the indictment report, 300 suspected pedophiles were also arrested for using the illegal site. Additionally, law enforcers were also able to determine the exact physical locations where severs were located and conducted a raid. 8TB of child abuse videos were recovered marking an important milestone in the war against the dark web.
An International Web
The suspects were all caught in different countries including Australia, Ireland, Spain, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Saudi Arabia, UK, South Korea, and the US. On the other hand, children were rescued from locations in the US, UK, and Spain where they were being subjected to exploitation.
The intelligence team traced the account users’ to their Crypto addresses used that were specific to particular accounts for buying videos.
Compliance Played A Key Role In Unearthing The Crime
To hack into the system, investigators used the Chainalysis Reactor algorithm that analyses the flow of Digital Tokens on Bitcoin exchanges to wallets. This has been made easy through the enforcement of KYC practices in Crypto exchanges.
This revelation reveals that in the wake of compliance requirements, Bitcoin transactions are set to be sanitized and edge out illicit users putting an end to a narrative that Bitcoin is an enabler of the dark web.
In the meantime, there is a watertight case against Jong-Woo Son and he is behind bars in South Korea. His site had the capacity for one million users.