Secret Service Owns Crypto, Loves Blockchain, and Owns NFT Collection: Reddit AMA
The US Secret Service owns cryptocurrencies, has its own collection of NFTs, and has touted the ability of blockchain technology to fight financial crime, according to a Reddit user during a recent Ask-Me-Anything (AMA).
On May 15, representatives from the US Secret Service San Francisco Field Office and the Bay Area Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) answered questions from members of the r/cryptocurrency forum.
While some regulators still view cryptocurrencies as a tool for fraudsters and scammers, the REACT task group has hailed the open and transparent nature of blockchain as a “tremendous opportunity” for law enforcement to follow the flow of money.
The Secret Service has previously stated that the immutable nature of blockchain ledgers allows for criminal financial activity that is easier to monitor and track than money in some circumstances.
The upcoming Netflix Bitfinex story starring some unlikely criminals clarifies this point: it is difficult to launder money using blockchain. In response to a follow-up question about how best to hide unethical behavior on the blockchain, the Secret Service stated that if people want to do financially evil things, they should do it with cash rather than crypto.
Another Redditor asked about the Secret Service’s cryptocurrency holdings, to which the authority replied that they were “definitely crypto holders” and defined themselves as crypto “enthusiasts” in the following comments. According to the agency, owning cryptocurrency allows them to better understand the underlying mechanics of the crypto world.
“Almost all cases require some level of ELI5’ing.” “This is a running joke around here,” the agency added, with the acronym “ELI5” in reference to the popular Reddit community r/explainlikeimfive.
When asked if there were any important differences between crypto crimes and criminal behavior in traditional banking, the Secret Service stated that “the vast majority” of calls and reports received by their office included crypto somehow.
“They differ from fiat investigations in many ways, both good and bad, but the most notable difference is that crypto transactions are immutable and irreversible.” While the organization addresses serious issues, there’s also some lighthearted fun during the event. When a Redditor questioned whether the Secret Service was thinking of developing its own “memecoin,” the agency responded by promoting its own collection of NFTs on OpenSea.