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Breaking news: Ethereum Developer Virgil Griffith Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy Charge in North Korea Sanctions Case

Secret Service Agent: Digital Currencies Fueling Cybercrime

A special agent with the US Secret Service spoke out against bitcoin this week, arguing its primary use case is in illicit transactions.

Mar 27, 2015 at 10:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:37 a.m. UTC

A special agent with the US Secret Service (USSS) is speaking out against bitcoin and digital currency technology on the grounds that criminal activity is its most compelling use case.

Taking place during a talk at the 17th annual OpRisk North America conference, USSS agent Tate Jarrow suggested that without digital currencies, "cybercrime would be much more difficult", according to report by Buy-Side Technology.

The magazine reports Jarrow "did not hold back" his opinion at the conference, alleging that the majority of digital currency activity is generated by criminals.

Jarrow asserted:

"They want to use anonymous currency that allows them to do transactions, move large amounts of money, without ever being traced. That's why digital currency is very important. It's used for all this bad stuff."

In his talks, Jarrow highlighted past examples of illicit services enabled by digital currency, including the now-defunct payment processor Liberty Reserve and black market Silk Road, which he alleged could not have been enabled by companies like PayPal.

"Digital currency exists because people want to be outside that system," he added.

Jarrow was awarded the Secretary's Exceptional Service Award, which honors exceptional leadership or service that improves US homeland security, in 2014.

Secret Service agent via Shutterstock

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