The suspect in the second-largest bitcoin theft in history has been arrested. Can the blockchain world really be invisible?
In August 2016, the digital currency exchange Bitfinex was hacked and $3.6 billion worth of bitcoins were stolen, causing bitcoin to plummet by 23% that day, which was known as the second-largest bitcoin theft in the history. After more than five years of tracking and investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice finally announced that they arrested two individuals in New York on Tuesday and charges that they conspired to launder proceeds from the Bitfinex hack in 2016.
As to the crime method, the Justice Department said the defendants allegedly used a number of techniques to launder the stolen bitcoin, including creating online accounts by using fictitious identities, using computer programs to automate transactions, and converting into other types of cryptos. “Today, federal law enforcement demonstrates once again that we can follow money through the blockchain, and that we will not allow cryptocurrency to be a safe haven for money laundering or a zone of lawlessness within our financial system,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
In cryptocurrency transactions, the algorithm of asymmetric encryption in cryptography is used to convert those plaintext addresses into more anonymous addresses. It makes it impossible for the public to directly view the users of the address. But at the same time, due to the openness and tamper resistance of the blockchain, all the on-chain transactions can be viewed and tracked by any node. Therefore, blockchain can be widely used in some scenarios that require proof, such as the application of privacy computing.
Privacy computing is a technology that uses cryptography to perform data computing without exposing the privacy of the original data. In the blockchain environment, the process of data computing is open and transparent, and the data owner can view the records of their own data usage, thus eliminate the trust barrier between the data owners and the data users.
GoodData blockchain combines data computing with DeFi, and launches a new model of “share-to-earn”, which encourages users to benefit from data sharing, promoting the safe flow of data in the form of reasonable distribution of benefits, realizing data owners, data users and supporters benefit from multiple parties.
As the first DApp launched by GoodData, GooD Sleep motivates users to share their sleep data by giving rewards. Users only need to check in daily to share in order to get their rewards. They can even earn money while sleeping. This is just the beginning of GoodData’s monetization of data value.
The blockchain has the characteristics of anonymity, non-tamperable, and non-forgeable, which creates greater value for people’s living. However, this does not mean that the blockchain is an invisibility cloak for financial crimes. The value of the blockchain depends on the size of the blockchain computer network and the efforts made by the participants, just as the value of data also originates from every contributors.