• CoinSnacks
  • Posts
  • Highlights From The Secret Service’s Crypto AMA

Highlights From The Secret Service’s Crypto AMA

Overall, it’s fun and refreshing to see a government agency that isn’t trying to rip crypto’s eyes out.

When you think of the Secret Service, you probably think about men and women in suits and shades guarding the President from would-be assassins.

But, what most people may not realize is that the Secret Service was actually established to suppress counterfeit currency. In the year 1865, an alarming one third of all circulating currency was counterfeit. Responding to this crisis, President Abraham Lincoln enacted legislation to create a new branch under the Treasury Department, now known as the Secret Service.

It wasn’t until President William McKinkley’s assassination at the turn of the century (1901) that the Secret Service actually started protecting the President.

So although most people today equate the Secret Service with Clint Eastwood in The Line of Fire, the Secret Service is also responsible for protecting the integrity of the nation’s financial infrastructure by investigating bank fraud, credit card fraud, cybercrime, and now… cryptocurrencies.

And it turns out the Secret Service has had its hands in a bunch of successful crypto investigations, such as extraditing the operator of the illicit crypto exchange BTC-e, the busting of “pig butchering” schemes, and the shuttering of illegal crypto kiosks.

And thanks to a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) of all things, we now have a better picture of the Secret Service’s cryptocurrency dealings:

  • The Secret Service has a dedicated crypto unit, and this unit has a special requirement for admission: any new agent has to read the Bitcoin white paper. Honestly, that should be a requirement for everybody in crypto.

  • Over the last 9 months, the Secret Service has recovered and restored crypto to 17 victims.

  • If you think laundering money through crypto is “safer” than traditional finance, think again. As expected, the transparent nature of the blockchain makes it very easy for the authorities, like the Secret Service, to track the flow of money. As the Secret Service put it: if you want to hide your finances from the cops, “use cash”.

  • The Secret Service once found and reimbursed a victim of a crypto crime on Reddit. Who said that Reddit is a waste of time?

  • The Secret Service has an NFT collection, because of course they do.

Overall, it’s fun and refreshing to see a government agency that isn’t trying to rip crypto’s eyes out.