Interpol Would Focus on the Use of Bitcoin in Cybercrime

November 18, 2015         By: Asif Imtiaz

The Interpol is hosting its sixth annual Global Focal Point Conference on Asset Recovery in India this time and the focus seems to be on how Bitcoin is being used in illegal trading of various goods and services.

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be inaugurating the event.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) of India’s spokesman told the media that the participants would likely discuss about various digital currencies, especially Bitcoin, during the event.

Since this conference mainly bring together the financial crime unit of the Interpol, usually fraud using the traditional banking system is discussed. However, in light of the recent developments regarding use of Bitcoin in trading illicit products, Interpol officials seem to be discussing to employ a broader policing system to counter such practices.

Besides the use of Bitcoin in illegal asset trades around the world, it is being widely used in cybercrime situations. For example, hacking groups have reportedly sold Home Depot’s customer credit card details via Bitcoin last year. Furthermore, security experts are increasingly worried about the role of Bitcoin in the post Paris attack world, where several activist groups claimed that ISIS financed the attack by using Bitcoin.

The Global Focal Point Conference is jointly organized by Interpol and an organization called the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, which was established in 2009 by a collaboration between The World Bank and The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Interpol has taken a leading role in fighting cybercrime that uses Bitcoin to facilitate financing.

In April, CoinDesk reported that Interpol has created a cryptocurrency of its own in order to study the use of block chain technology in cybercrime. The demo currency was used by Interpol in order to train its officials about the technology and equip them with the knowledge to act against illicit trade of assets.