By @SimonCocking Investigating Cryptocurrencies: Understanding, Extracting, and Analyzing Blockchain Evidence, by Nick Furneaux, ISBN: 978-1-119-48056-3, 320 pages. Available here.

Investigate crimes involving cryptocurrencies and other blockchain technologies

Bitcoin has traditionally been the payment system of choice for a criminal trading on the Dark Web, and now many other blockchain cryptocurrencies are entering the mainstream as traders are accepting them from low-end investors putting their money into the market. Worse still, the blockchain can even be used to hide information and covert messaging, unknown to most investigators.

Investigating Cryptocurrencies is the first book to help corporate, law enforcement, and other investigators understand the technical concepts and the techniques for investigating crimes utilizing the blockchain and related digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

  • Understand blockchain and transaction technologies  
  • Set up and run cryptocurrency accounts
  • Build information about specific addresses
  • Access raw data on blockchain ledgers
  • Identify users of cryptocurrencies
  • Extracting cryptocurrency data from live and imaged computers
  • Following the money

With nearly $150 billion in cryptocurrency circulating and $3 billion changing hands daily, crimes committed with or paid for with digital cash are a serious business. Luckily, Investigating Cryptocurrencies Forensics shows you how to detect it and, more importantly, stop it in its tracks.

This book is smart, readable and scary too. Or rather something that you really should be aware of, if you are buying and selling more than a few hundred dollars worth of crypto, and you don’t plan to have them hacked and taken away from you. Furneaux is writing from the right side of the law, and his aim is to raise awareness and ensure greater protection from the black hat / bad guys who have plenty of ways to take money away from you. At times he is clearing describing practices and techniques ‘that may not be legal in your domain…’ so he is clearly not advocating that you do them. BUT with tools like wireshark activities like packet sniffing are trivially easy, and when applied can bring very powerful and dangerous results when used by the wrong people. This is very much an area where ignorance is not bliss. While the whole crypto may be an exciting and rapidly changing world, it is also one where the tech has moved first and the regulation, legislation and customer protection is only very slowly catching up. It is most definitely not a secure environment and you really need to do everything you can to protect yourself and your investments.

This book is primarily written for what we might call ‘crypto investigators’, yet another example of a job description that didn’t even exist 5 years ago. However as, in many areas, the tech is neutral, but the applications can be both good and bad, there is already a growing need for smart, through, forensic crypto investigators. Rather than hunting down replicants, Blade Runner style, the future may be more about this sort of digital detective work. You may never need to be this person, but this book is a smart, scary and strategic book to read to help ensure that you are better aware of the fun, exciting and yet also extremely risky world you are moving into when you embrace crypto. This is not to say that blockchain based technologies do not have the power to be transformational, but just to say that we are still very much in the wild west phase, and probably will continue to be so for the near future too. In this context this book is a timely and helpful addition to the literature out there.

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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