Cryptocurrency Basics: An Investigator’s Companion

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Course Description

As digital currency becomes more mainstream, financial institutions worldwide are increasingly embracing cryptocurrency blockchain technology. Cryptocurrency’s exponential growth and rising prominence make a baseline understanding of the technology behind these coins a must in law enforcement.

Digital currencies, including Bitcoin and many others, have known legitimate uses.  However, much like cash, cryptocurrencies can be used to facilitate illicit transactions and to launder criminal proceeds, given the ease with which they can be used to move money anonymously. In some circumstances certain cryptocurrency payments may be traced to accounts at traditional financial institutions using the blockchain.

Learning Objectives

1. Define cryptocurrency.
2. Recognize key concepts associated with cryptocurrency.
3. Describe the process of a Bitcoin transaction.
4. Name at least two cryptocurrencies and two explorers.
5. Explain how cryptocurrency is used in illicit activities.

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