Bitcoin Forensics: Investigating Cryptocurrency
There were a few topics I wanted to write about for my next forensic book; however, considering the recent cases involving cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Forensics is at the top of the list. A couple of points on the book before you make an assumption about what the book is or is not:
1. The book is not anti-cryptocurrency. In fact, this book is pro-cryptocurrency not only as use as a currency, but as an investigative target for investigators when following the money.
2.The book will not be about only Bitcoin. The book will cover cryptocurrency in totality of all-the-coins, to include the major coins (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc…) and the Altcoins.
Like my other books, it will be written for the practitioner, the investigator, and the court officer with duties of trying cases involving cryptocurrency. Our goal is to write a book that you can read and put to use on day-one. Oh yeah, did I say “our”? I sure did. Tim Carver is my co-author. If you know of Professor Carver, then you know that you will be learning all you need with the investigative aspects of cryptocurrency in your cases. Additionally, we have a few contributors (and on the lookout for more!) that have either conducted extensive research or have conducted successfully cases with cryptocurrency as a money laundering aspect of their cases.
I have one confession to make. Some time ago (a few years?), Tim asked for my opinion on cryptocurrency and money laundering with criminals. At the time, I said that I believe it may be years before the common criminal uses cryptocurrency for money laundering simply because of the technology. “Blockchain technology” is not something that everyday meth dealers may be knowledgeable about. The other obstacle I thought was that converting physical cash into digital cash is not that easy. On the other end of the criminal spectrum is the DTO (drug trafficking organization). The amount of physical cash generated alone is enough to prohibit converting into digital cash. I just didn't see cryptocurrency being a major criminal investigative aspect.
But here comes 2017... I’ve seen more than a few cases in the news of BILLIONS of dollars being laundered. On top of that, after doing research on cryptocurrency for over a year (talking to Tim generated an interest to test theories in cryptocurrency) and coincidentally getting a case with cryptocurrency being a central target in the case….I think I was mistaken. Cryptocurrency has come and will eventually be part of every criminal investigation that has any financial aspect.
So, there you have it. The inspiration of the book came from Tim Carver calling me to ask my opinion, a year of research afterward, a cryptocurrency case to figure out, and finally me asking Tim to co-author a book on it.
Until then, expect the book to be in print (or on your mobile device) in 2018. Cool book topic, and probably one of the most relevant subjects for the years ahead in forensic investigations, both in the criminal case world and private sector engagements. Don't believe? No worries. You will soon enough, just like I did.
Keep up on the progress of the book at my blog with the tag Bitcoin or the Bitcoin Forensics book's RSS feed: http://brettshavers.cc/index.php/brettsblog/tags/bitcoin?format=feed&type=rss