Bloomberg Law
June 22, 2017, 1:18 PM

Law Enforcement Adapts to Using Cryptocurrency to Catch Criminals

Law enforcement agencies are turning to blockchain to track everything from financial crimes to drug trafficking, even as they’re still learning how to use the distributed-ledger technology.

The accessible nature of a public blockchain—an open database that can exist on millions of computers designed to allow for reliable transactions among anonymous users—is particularly appealing to law enforcement, which doesn’t need a subpoena or search warrant to access it.

But the nature of blockchain also makes it difficult to identify real-world users, particularly those who use sophisticated techniques to hide their identities or those who rely on more obscure cryptocurrencies that ...