Justice Department Veteran Backs Bitcoin Crime-Fighting Tool

NEWS
David Floyd
May 11, 2018 at 11:00 UTC  |  Updated  May 11, 2018 at 11:38 UTC

Blockchain services provider Bitfury has hired an 11-year veteran of the U.S. Department of Justice to lead the American push of its bitcoin blockchain tracking product, Crystal.

Bitfury announced Friday that Michael DuBose, who led the DoJ's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property section from 2000-2011, will be joining the firm as president of Crystal USA, where he will "help introduce Crystal ... to U.S. law enforcement agents, financial groups and other key audiences," according to a company statement.

"I am thrilled to play a key role at Bitfury leading business growth for Crystal," DuBose said Thursday. "Crystal makes it much easier to identify and track criminal activities on the blockchain, thereby providing a vital service to law enforcement agencies, financial institutions and other groups across the United States."

Bitfury, which also provides bitcoin mining hardware, first unveiled Crystal in January, offering a way for firms and law enforcement agencies to track transactions on the bitcoin blockchain. The software scores transactions and addresses according to their risk, flagging bitcoin movements that may be associated with illegal activities, for example.

According to Bitfury, the tool can help the authorities speed up their investigations into illicit activities involving the cryptocurrency. The firm's website says that it took just three hours to find the entity behind the $5 billion WannaCry ransomware attacks last May.

"If law enforcement agencies had had the proper tool to find criminals on the Bitcoin Blockchain," the company said in a presentation, "they could have quickly cornered the criminals and prevented further global damage."

Bitfury also markets Crystal to companies, which face potential legal repercussions for accepting bitcoin derived from black market activities. Using Crystal, Bitfury CEO Valery Vavilov told CoinDesk in January, "you can track bitcoin transactions and see if this bitcoin address that you're getting money from is green or black."

DoJ image via Shutterstock

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CrimeBitFuryBitcoinLaw EnforcementCrystal

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