INTERPOL Eyes Altcoins
November 9, 2018
impacts of Altcoins, an alternative to Bitcoins, on law enforcement
investigations and prosecutions was the focus of the second meeting of
the INTERPOL Working Group on Darknet and Cryptocurrencies.
With more than 2,000 different cryptocurrencies in existence, the
Working Group had previously identified Altcoins as an emerging
challenge for police investigations worldwide.
Co-hosted by INTERPOL and the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice
(Germany), the meeting brought together 52 participants from law
enforcement, academia, private industry and international organizations
in 25 countries.
The Working Group identified specific Altcoins which should be
considered a priority, the most effective current investigative
solutions, information sharing on the criminal use of Altcoins, and how
to translate the complex technical details related to Altcoins into
usable information for police and prosecutors.
During the two-day (10 and 11 October) meeting, the participants
conducted an empirical study outlining the necessary steps for
investigating crimes involving cryptocurrencies, and produced a report
on the most significant Altcoins for law enforcement and their tracing
capabilities. The aim is to ultimately develop a common investigative
methodology to assist police in counteracting the criminal activities
facilitate by the anonymous cryptocurrencies.
Bavarian State Minister of Justice, Winfried Bausback, said:
“Cryptocurrencies give perpetrators the possibility to conceal their
cash flows and identities across country borders, enabling them to elude
law enforcement authorities. We can only confront the global
cryptocurrency phenomenon by intensifying the international cooperation
of powerful investigative structures.”
Janovsky, Public Prosecutor General in Bamberg in charge of the Bavarian
Central Office for the Prosecution of Cybercrime, noted the need for
police and the judiciary alike to step up to these new challenges.
“Privacy oriented cryptocurrencies like Monero or Z-Cash might take over
at least some of the market share of the Bitcoin within the criminal
environment. Police experts, but also prosecutors as well as judges,
must adapt to this new reality soon. We all need to get ahead of
technological trends to successfully fight against the criminal use of
cryptocurrencies,” said Mr Janovsky.
The first Working Group meeting, held in Singapore in March, looked at
emerging threats including Darknet markets, cryptocurrency mixers,
anonymization techniques, lack of Altcoin tracing tools and
decentralized escrow services.