Announcing a Return to our Roots: The All-New Bitcoin Magazine

€1.5m / $1.8m Worth of Bitcoin Seized in Dublin Drug Raid

by

         €1.5m / $1.8m Worth of Bitcoin Seized in Dublin Drug Raid

Less than a mile from my home, as the Web Summit wrapped up in Dublin's RDS, Gardai (the Irish police) raided an office in the leafy suburbs. Two men were arrested as part of an international operation targeting drug sellers using Tor, and several hundred thousand euro in cash, as well as quantities of of drugs were seized, along with computer equipment. This was part of a broader international operation called "Onymous" between the US and sixteen European countries and Europol, which has shut down Silk Road 2.0 and over 400 other darknet websites. A number of arrests have also taken place, including Blake Benthall, said to be behind Silk Road 2.0.The police raided the operation after three months of surveillance, and caught them red handed, with everything unlocked and the silk road website open. They have said in the news reports that this is the first time they have identified and seized drugs, despite encrypted communications being in place. The computers seized were encrypted but wide open, allowing the computer forensics team to rapidly get the data. This has netted the police and their international partners on the operation, dubbed "Operation Charge", access to an entire history of drug sales via Silk Road-esque websites lurking in different areas of the darknet. Even more significant is the fact that, again according to radio reports, approximately €1.5m / $1.85m worth of bitcoins were also seized in the wallets that resided on a seized computer, alongside information about offshore bank accounts in Switzerland, Belize, Poland and other countries in a follow up search.Ireland has a long history of dealing with assets derived from the proceeds of crime. After the murder of Irish Independent journalist Veronica Guerin in 1996, the Criminal Assets Bureau was established to deal with the proceeds of crime, which have now been dealing with assets such as properties, cash, cars, paintings and other high value goods. But while the Irish Police may have dealt with small amounts of bitcoin seized in the past, this time around it now has approximately 12% the amount that was seized in the FBI's first Silk Road raid, and the dispatch addresses to go with them.The scale of this operation has swiftly removed a large portion of the more unscrupulous parts of the criminal ecosystem from the net, but it will also bring the privacy of bitcoin into the limelight once again. In this case, some people are probably going to be nervous, as the corresponding information and communications between users of this service has been seized, along with the wallet and corresponding logs.So what will happen next? Will there be further arrests because of the logs seized in Dublin after they are shared with international police? Or does the ease in which the tech savvy elements of the Irish police force identified and then tracked down this operation - despite all attempts at encrypting and masking their trails - show that the wild west era of Bitcoin's development is coming to a close, or a harbringer of more to come?The Washington Post has also wrote that this takedown will make the world a more dangerous place and the multi-headed hydra will emerge as new people jump at the opportunity to reap the profits from this underground market.Do you think this will have a positive or negative affect on bitcoin's fluctuating price? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!  

Recommended

Ten Years Later, a Reflection on Bitcoin’s Genesis and Satoshi’s Timing

Rather than focusing simply on what the genesis block is, today is a day to reflect on what the genesis block represents.

Colin Harper

Op Ed: From Gray To Black and White: Traditional Regulations Come to Crypto

For the crypto industry, recent developments — at both the federal and international levels — signal that the time for plausible deniability or unregulated freedom is coming to an end and more traditional regulations are moving to the forefront.

Courtney Rogers Perrin and Joshua Lewis

Bitcoin Price Analysis: Blowing Through Support Levels on the Way to $3,000

Bitcoin continues to tumble lower and lower as it struggles to claim any footing in the market. It’s down almost 50% in three weeks and it’s showing very little sign of stopping. It’s currently clutching onto the $3,500 values but it doesn’t look like it can hold on much longer.

Bitcoin Schmitcoin

Op Ed: SEC’s Latest Declaration Creates Legal Minefield for Digital Assets

This broad, authoritative declaration is not unexpected, as, to date, the SEC has stated that all digital assets — regardless of whether they function as alt coins or utility tokens — are securities at least initially and, thus, subject to its jurisdiction.

Huhnsik Chung and Nicholas Secara