Prosecution and Prevention of Organized Financial Crime with Virtual Currencies (BITCRIME)

Problem Statement

Decentralized virtual cryptographic currencies have been steadily gaining traction in recent years. By design, cryptographic currencies are traded directly between users without the interference of sovereigns, central banks, or financial intermediaries. The unregulated environment as well as the apparent anonymity of transactions make such currencies especially attractive to organized financial crime. In light of this, public authorities are required to design novel solutions and approaches to identifying and prosecuting financial crimes with virtual currencies.

Project Goals

The project aims to develop innovative and viable approaches to these issues with special attention to the specific character of virtual currencies. It surveys social, economic and legal aspects of virtual currencies and explores technical solutions. The project emphasizes two aspects: on the one hand it aims to develop technical and organizational measures that enable the efficient investigation of virtual currency-related crime. On the other hand the project aims to explore regulatory approaches to prevent such crimes and thereby improve the protection of legitimate users. BITCRIME seeks Europe-wide solutions, which also need to be applicable on a global scale.

Project Consortium

BITCRIME is a bi-lateral, German-Austrian research project supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT). The full list of BITCRIME’s partners can be found at the official website.

Project Duration

The BITCRIME project has started in November 2014 and will be completed in two years from that date.