Secret services are increasingly relying on cryptocurrencies
Although the conflicts between state institutions and the crypto industry continue to increase, an expert recently explains why secret services are increasingly relying on cryptocurrencies. According to him, they bring significant advantages in information gathering.
Why secret services are increasingly relying on cryptocurrencies
In a guest article for BTC-Echo, Albert Quehenberger explains why secret services are increasingly relying on cryptocurrencies. Quehenberger is himself a former employee of the Austrian secret service.
He himself was able to determine that secret services are increasingly doing without conventional means of payment and prefer modern means of transferring funds instead.
“One particular means of payment is becoming increasingly popular among the secret services for financial exchange: cryptocurrencies.” This is what Quehenberger writes.
At the same time, the ambivalent relationship between authorities and cryptocurrencies becomes obvious. Classically, most governments tend to take a crypto-hostile position. They fear a loss of power and control through Bitcoin and Altcoin.
It is precisely this turning away from state sovereignty that secret services take advantage of. According to Quehenberger, they prefer to pay whistleblowers with bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Privacy coins such as Monero, which are even more difficult to monitor, are also conceivable in this role.
If whistleblowers are paid with cryptocurrencies instead of traditional ways, it is much easier for both the involved secret service and the whistleblower to remain hidden. For the state being spied on, however, it is more difficult to initiate countermeasures. Security increases significantly, especially for informants.
Secret services prefer physical delivery of crypto
According to Quehenberger, secret services prefer the physical delivery of crypto. The authority uses hardware wallets that are previously filled with a desired amount of money. The wallet is then handed over to the informant at a personal meeting.
However, because such meetings are not always possible, classic transactions are also used elsewhere. Because the informant only has to transmit a blockchain address instead of his real name, a data leak is not a life-threatening risk in this case.
The advantage of a physical handover: Only one blockchain address is used, although both parties – secret service and informant – act with the money. The risk of the informant involuntarily revealing their own identity is also reduced when using a transparent blockchain such as Bitcoin.
Noted dissidents Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are both familiar with cryptocurrencies. While Assange’s Wikileaks is funded by crypto donations, Snowden used Bitcoin to rent servers on which he could store data without being identified.