According to reports out today, Robert Mueller, the United States Special Counsel has charged 12 Russian spies for their involvement in the 2016 US Presidential Election, interestingly, their involvement is said to have been funded via Bitcoin.
The main disruptive action taken by the accused spies, is the hacking of personal data which saw the personal information of around half a million US voters stolen in order to help research agencies influence voters and encourage them to vote for Donald Trump, the now President of the United States.
Much of the funding is alleged to have come via Bitcoin, with the spies found to be using Bitcoin to purchase domains, servers and for making generic transactions. According to Cryptovest, the indictment used to charge the spies states:
“To facilitate the purchase of infrastructure used in their hacking activity — including hacking into the computers of US persons and entities involved in the 2016 US presidential election and releasing the stolen documents — the defendants conspired to launder the equivalent of more than $95,000 through a web of transactions structured to capitalize on the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.”
See the full article for yourself, here.
The use of Bitcoin is significant, furthermore, according to the US Justice Department:
“The use of Bitcoin allowed the conspirators to avoid direct relationships with traditional financial institutions, allowing them to evade greater scrutiny of their identities and sources of funds.”
We all know just how blockchain technology can be used to prevent this sort of crime, though in this instance it does seem that Bitcoin has been used to help keep these spies under the radar. Overall, speculation surrounding the US Presidential Election has been high, though with this news now surfacing, we expect this speculation to reach an absolute high in the coming days. Russian involvement in a US Presidential Election is quite a big deal, now cryptocurrency is being dragged into the mix.
The overall outlook here is actually rather unsettling, therefore this is one which we all need to keep our eyes on.