No less than the Department of Justice Assistant US Attorney Kathryn Haun herself is set to discuss blockchain and transparency issues during the Consensus 2015 event on September 10, 2015 in New York. Haun heads digital currency initiatives for northern California at the US Department of Justice and has led the inquiry against Ripple Labs.
She was recently appointed the Digital Currency Crimes Coordinator for northern California at the US Department of Justice. Aside from leading a new multi-agency task force charged with looking into digital currencies that includes the FBI, Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service and Department of Homeland Security, she will also teach a course on Digital Currency and Cybercrime at Stanford next year.
Blockchain Technology Issues
In particular, Haun is set to zoom in on the Silk Road case, which has been one of the reasons for bitcoin’s negative reputation. The cryptocurrency and its corresponding blockchain technology has been associated for its use in the underground black market, known for money laundering, drug deals, and other criminal activities.
Blockchain refers to the public ledger of transactions for bitcoin. While each payment undergoes complex verification with several computers or bitcoin miners solving algorithms and adding each transaction as a new block on the ledger, this entire process guarantees a layer of security and anonymity.
The lead prosecutor on the case is none other than Haun, who made extensive use of blockchain analysis with the rest of her team to link the illicit bitcoin flows to the accused former agents. Ross Ulbricht is set for sentencing this Friday and agents Carl Mark Force IV of the DEA and Shaun Bridges of the Secret Service, are being charged with wire fraud, money laundering and other offences for making off with more than $800,000-worth of stolen bitcoin during their investigation of Silk Road.