This video provides information to help attorneys understand cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, and the underlying technology, the blockchain. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have recently been associated with different frauds, including drug dealing, money laundering, and extortion, but also provide a means for individuals to conceal assets, such as in divorce cases. This bitcoin video informs attorneys about cryptocurrency, its use in fraud, its use in exchange, and its use as a store of value for assets. In addition, the bitcoin video explores the implications bitcoin’s use has in discovery requests, asset tracing, and fraud.
Cryptocurrency is poised to revolutionize modern monetary practices. The idea of digital material separate from a government or a financial institution has been a dream of cryptographers, programmers, and privacy advocates for many years. Out of this privacy-first idea grew bitcoin, the digital currency. This new form of currency allows anonymous transactions using cryptographic public keys, solves counterfeiting by distributing the ledger of transactions publicly to a lot of computers, and foregoes a financial institution by enabling transactions as peer-to-peer.
Bitcoin first gained international attention in 2013, when the Silk Road was seized by the FBI. The Silk Road was the largest online drug trading website on the Darknet, which recorded over $6 million in monthly revenue before its seizure. While the cryptocurrency garnered attention due to its use in illegal spheres, its vast potential lies in its ability to change the financial landscape. Bitcoin is already accepted as currency at some online retailers, and Deloitte now owns a bitcoin ATM in Canada. Investments in bitcoin related services and products have skyrocketed in the past few years.
Since its widespread exposure in 2013, bitcoin’s value surpassed that of a troy ounce of gold. Some experts predict the value could be well beyond $50,000 per Bitcoin by 2020. Beyond its pure monetary value, its transaction value has also grown, outpacing the growth credit cards experienced upon release. Bitcoin’s status as a currency and its recognition in the marketplace as an accepted form of payment mean it’s likely only a matter of time until it dominates financial proceedings.