According to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report on the 2016 US presidential election and President Trump’s collusion with Russia, Bitcoin was extensively used by Russia during their online efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
Per the report, state-backed Russian operatives used Bitcoin (BTC) in almost every stage of their online efforts to impede Hilary Clinton and help Donald Trump’s campaign.
The Russians purportedly used Bitcoin as their currency of choice to carry out all operations, including the purchase of VPNs, servers, fake identities, domains used to host political propaganda, among other things.
Russia’s hacking and disinformation campaigns were apparently successful and contributed heavily to Trump’s victory in the 2016 election.
Now, with the release of the Mueller Report, the truth is out there and large part of it is thanks to Bitcoin.
Bitcoin’s Transparency Divulges Russia’s Crimes
While Russia successfully implemented a campaign of hacking and misinformation during the 2016 US presidential election, they failed to cover up their tracks, which were provided by Bitcoin’s public and transparent blockchain.
For the uninitiated, Bitcoin transactions are highly traceable, as every transaction is publicly recorded on the blockchain. Once it’s discovered who made a specific transaction, it’s possible for analysts to track that person’s entire Bitcoin transaction history.
In this case, Russian agents from the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) attempted to mask their identities using Bitcoin, but were discovered by Mueller’s investigating team who found out their identities from their use of various crypto exchanges, including BTC-e.
The Russian operatives failed to realize that even the tiniest bit of information could easily lead investigators to discover their entire paper trail of transactions. The fact that these criminals used Bitcoin for every transaction made the entire investigation far easier than if they were to use cash or another means of digital payments.
A Big Deal for Bitcoin
The findings in Mueller’s report can largely be attributed to Bitcoin’s public, decentralized, trustless, and transparent blockchain.
Bitcoin enthusiasts have been preaching about these attributes being vital to the cryptocurrency’s success for years, and it appears that the US government can now appreciate them as well.
If Bitcoin had been a centralized or private blockchain, it would have had a central point of failure in which Russia could attack and manipulate. This type of blockchain would have major issues regarding trust, and would be far less reliable in tracking the perpetrators.
All in all, if this incident proves anything, it’s that Bitcoin and blockchain technology should be a governments, dream currency because even top Russian operatives cannot hide their identities or transaction history.
Do you think governments are already mapping out who the Bitcoin holders are? Do you think Bitcoin will adopt privacy features in the future? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.