Posted: Jun 10, 2021 12:01 AM
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Among many claimed benefits, cryptocurrencies supposedly offer two significant benefits over fiat currencies: 1) autonomy and 2) discretion. This past week, the U.S. federal government took them both down.
The U.S. Department of Justice issued a press statement that it had seized $2.3 million in cryptocurrency. The seizure was the result of the FBI’s Colonial Pipeline investigation. As a reminder, Colonial Pipeline, the U.S.’s largest pipeline for refined oil products, was the victim of a cyberattack. Against the U.S.’s wishes and policies, Colonial Pipeline paid millions in ransom to retake control of the pipeline.
According to the FBI, they had found and recaptured a majority of the ransom paid by Colonial. The FBI tracked the Bitcoin Colonial sent to the attackers recorded on the Bitcoin ledger utilizing a block explorer. The fact that the FBI was able to track and recover the cryptocurrency undermines these concepts of autonomy and discretion. If Bitcoin doesn’t offer these benefits, then where is the actual value above