New backgrounder: How can law enforcement leverage the blockchain in investigations?

Former federal prosecutor Jason Weinstein explains how the nature of Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain can be good news for law enforcement, and how law enforcement can ultimately be good news for Bitcoin.

Coin Center has published a new backgrounder, “How can law enforcement leverage the blockchain in investigations?,” to better explain how law enforcement is employing bitcoin technology in its investigations.

Former federal prosecutor Jason Weinstein explains how the nature of Bitcoin’s underlying blockchain can be good news for law enforcement, and how law enforcement can ultimately be good news for Bitcoin.

Although the blockchain is revolutionary, in a sense it represents just the latest example of law enforcement needing to innovate in response to new technology.  Indeed, the Department of Justice and other federal law enforcement agencies have a long history of adapting and evolving in order to pursue criminals who use “new school” technology to commit “old school” crimes.  They’ve done it time and time again – from fax machines to pagers to “push to talk” cellphones to email to Skype to mobile devices to Internet-based methods of payment, just to name a few examples, law enforcement has had to evolve as new technology designed for legitimate purposes is used to facilitate criminal activity.

So with that perspective, the challenge for law enforcement here is not unique.  What is unique is that we have the opportunity, at this embryonic stage of the blockchain’s development, both to help law enforcement get up the learning curve and to implement other innovations that will help make the blockchain more secure for commerce and less secure for criminals.

Read the full backgrounder here.

Based in Washington, D.C., Coin Center is the leading non-profit research and advocacy center focused on the public policy issues facing cryptocurrency and decentralized computing technologies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Our mission is to build a better understanding of these technologies and to promote a regulatory climate that preserves the freedom to innovate using permisionless blockchain technologies.