In an interview with CNBC, David M. Smith, a secret service executive made the revelation.
David is a top level executive and special agent currently serving as the 28th Asst. Director of the U.S. Secret Service Office of Investigations. He leads over 161 offices, over 3,000 employees and the global investigative mission for the Secret Service.
The authority is responsible for arrests of persons violating certain financial laws and detecting and investigating the same. As per the Secret Service website, digital assets have been,“increasingly been used to facilitate a growing range of crimes, including various fraud schemes and the use of ransomware.”
David claimed that agents were working together with analysts to actively track the flow of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on the blockchain. He compared a digital currency wallet to an email address, saying that both have “some correlating identifiers.”
“And once a person and another person make a transaction, and that gets into the blockchain, we have the ability to follow that email address or wallet address, if you will, and trace it through the blockchain.”
As per some reports by the agency, since 2015 close to $102 million have been seized by the Secret Service from criminals in connection with 254 cases of fraud-related investigations. Smith noted that cryptocurrency money transfers were very quick compared to traditional transfers. Faster transaction speeds have made crypto-use more popular among Americans.
“What criminals want to do is sort of muddy the waters and make efforts to obfuscate their activities, What we want to do is to track that as quickly as we can, aggressively as we can, in a linear fashion.”
The agent also said that once a suspicious activity is detected, the agency will work to “dig a little deeper into those transactions and deconstruct.” By comparing it to a spam email, he said if one sent a bad email then the agents would know there’s some criminal activity associated with that email address which can be deconstructed. Deconstruction will lead to ‘tidbits’ of information when one initially logged in or signed up for that email address.