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Internet Watch Foundation Partners to Stop Illicit Bitcoin Use

The Internet Watch Foundation has announced a partnership with a blockchain industry startup aimed at fighting online child sex abuse.

Jul 6, 2016 at 2:03 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:21 p.m. UTC

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has announced a partnership with blockchain industry startup Elliptic aimed at fighting online child sex abuse.

With the news, the UK-based charity has provided a database of bitcoin addresses associated with sexual abuse content to the startup. Elliptic, in turn, will seek to use the information to "alert financial institutions and law enforcement" of any payments made in support of the illicit activity.

In statements, IWF CEO Susie Hargreaves said that the action follows what her organization believes is an increase in the use of bitcoin by criminals looking to disseminate child sexual abuse material online.

Elsewhere, consultant and former head of regional organized crime unit head Mark Birch sought to position the development as a positive for both bitcoin the digital currency, and the technology’s larger community.

Birch said:

"Elliptic and IWF’s partnership represents a major step forward in bitcoin’s evolution. Elliptic has demonstrated to banks, law enforcement and the public at large that they are taking meaningful steps to eliminate the illicit use of bitcoin."

The announcement is the latest for the blockchain startup following a $5m fundraising in March.

Image via Shutterstock

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