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Title: How Bitcoin is fuelling America's opioid crisis!


Apr 16, 2018 Posted /  1341 Views


Title: How Bitcoin is fuelling America's opioid crisis!

The 28-year-old Aaron Shamo was a bitcoin millionaire, who started mining bitcoin soon after it was created in 2009, at the same time as he was a student at Utah Valley University. He stocked up on bitcoin while he worked at Apple and eBay in Utah over the next few years.

When the cryptocurrency trend exploded on Wall Street last year, he seems to have placed a bet. The worth of his holdings turned from around $767,000 to no less than $10 million over the year.

But he was not an investor. in its place, federal authorities say he made his affluence by connecting with the dark side of digital currency by using it to finance a huge secretive market of prohibited activity.

He is charged with trafficking the fatal opioid fentanyl along with financing the business with bitcoin. Law enforcement exposed above 500 bitcoin after raiding his house in 2016. He is now in jail in anticipation of trial, plus prosecutors said they are investigating 28 lethal overdoses in association with his suspected drug circle.

Cryptocurrency is a preference for drug traders

Bitcoin initially was a currency for computer nerd which was invented in 2009 but who invented it remains a covered anonymity and it was intended to be a strictly free-market currency, devoid of any corporation, nation or central bank having power over its price. Every bitcoin survives only as a digital token, plus every transaction is recorded in an open public ledger well-known as the blockchain. Hitherto despite the fact that bitcoin transactions are public, bitcoin possession is not. All tokens are stored in a digital wallet acknowledged only by a sequence of numbers and letters. Consumers do not have to give personal details to sign up for a wallet all the time. The secrecy of bitcoin along with the same sort of cryptocurrencies has made them trendy on the dark web which is an encrypted stratum of the internet where criminals carry out their trade without restraint. Authorities have been playing Tom and Jerry game with dark web market for many years.

According to Nicolas Christin, a computer science university lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University, Marijuana as well as cocaine are the popular drugs traded on the dark web. Although the swift rise of fentanyl along with the consequent spike in overdose casualties they have changed the long-running conflict on online drugs sales into a full-scale emergency.

Cryptocurrencies do not slay people

The foremost stuff police detained when they raided shamo’s house were gold bars, bags of cash, and a Ford pickup along with a BMW. It took one more year for his bitcoin to turn up in the court paper.

Shamo's attorney Skordas said, "It's really been a course that we've in no way dealt with before; I'm matured enough to remember when we did the whole thing with cash." Lawmakers and federal authorities in Washington think that ending the flow of fentanyl implies to cracking down on cryptocurrencies also. In January during a speech in Pennsylvania Sessions said: "It will assist us to make more arrests of those selling these lethal substances online plus shut down the marketplaces that these drug dealers utilize also it will eventually help us trim down addiction and overdoses in this society and across the country."  Perianne Boring, president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce said. "Cryptocurrencies do not take the life of the people. Opiates are taking the life of tens of thousands of people a year, blaming bitcoin for this emergency would make as much logic as blaming the internet or cars that drug traffickers have to utilize." Industry groups say that bitcoin users are not unidentified. They are pseudonymous. Buying bitcoin needs real money. A lot of users convert that hard cash through cryptocurrency exchanges that gather personal information. Moreover, they have to change their bitcoin back to real money once they are all set to use it up.


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