Michael DuBose is set to join Bitfury as the US head of Crystal. Bitfury picked DuBose to help the company introduce Crystal, a product designed to track Bitcoin blockchain to law enforcement agencies, financial groups, and any other major audiences within the US.
DuBose brings experience in computer-aided crime having worked in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property section in the US Department of Justice for 11years.
The software allows users to discern and scrutinize criminal activities that happen on the largest blockchain, Bitcoin. Speaking on Thursday, a day before Bitfury went public about his appointment, DuBose said,
“Crystal significantly facilitates the identification and tracking of criminal activities in Blockchain, thus providing a significant service to law enforcement agencies, financial institutions and other groups in the United States. I am excited about being able to play a key role in Bitfury’s leading development at Crystal.”
As the leading cryptocurrency in the world, Bitcoin has been used to fuel ransomware attacks like the WannaCry attack experienced in 2017. It allows criminals to receive ransoms from their victims with ease, without making their identities known.
But despite the fact that Bitcoin users can transfer funds without disclosing their identities, there are crucial pieces of information they reveal in the course of making transactions that investigators find useful. This is because each transaction gets recorded on blockchain, a public record of all Bitcoin transactions.
Crystal entered the market in January 2018. During its launch, Valery Vavilov, Bitfury Group CEO said, “The industry needs some very user-friendly tools so that you can track Bitcoin transactions and see if this Bitcoin address that you’re getting money from is green or black.”
As such, Crystal uses advanced analytics to draw inferences that can help investigators in tracking dubious transactions and get a detailed view of the blockchain ecosystem. In hacking instances, this tool combines analytics with other user identity information available publicly through blockchain addresses before mapping how the hackers are moving the stolen funds around.
The software is capable of assessing Bitcoin addresses, transactions and movements that are linked with illegal activities. These techniques can help law enforcers and investigators in identifying the cryptocurrency exchanges where the criminals convert Bitcoins to fiat money.
With Crystal, Bitfury claims authorities will be able to investigate illegal cryptocurrencies fast.
CyberSecurity Ventures predicted that ransomware damages and related costs would reach $5 billion in 2017.
In its presentation, the company said, “If law enforcement had the right tool to find criminals on Blockchain Bitcoin, they could quickly overpower criminals and prevent further global damage.”
Even so, beyond marketing its products to government-owned institutions, Bitfury is also targeting firms that are at risk of legal challenges from the black market for accepting Bitcoin payments. According to Vavilov, Crystal allows such companies to track Bitcoin transactions to determine whether the addresses they receive payment from emanate from the black market or not.