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Europol is developing a ‘game’ to teach officers how to trace cryptocurrency

Crypto-criminals watch out! Eurocops are coming

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Cryptocurrency crime fighters are about to have a lot more fun after Europol has revealed its developing a game to help law enforcers learn how to trace and investigate illicit uses of digital currencies.

Europol declared its intentions to help authorities with the announcement of what it’s calling the “cryptocurrency-tracing serious game” at the sixth Cryptocurrency Conference held from June 12-14 at Europol’s HQ, an announcement reads.

The game has been developed in collaboration with CENTRIC (Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organized Crime Research). It aims to give law enforcement officers hands-on training for tracing cryptocurrencies as part of criminal investigations.

The game is pegged for launch in October and is set to be unveiled at the seventh Europol-INTERPOL Cybercrime conference, Europol says. The platform will use gamification to create a training opportunity. No more details about the game have been released.

Despite sounding like fun, this training game is another sign of how serious law enforcement agencies are tackling cryptocurrency-related crime.

At the conference, industry experts also shared their best practices when undertaking investigations in which criminals used cryptocurrencies. Experts detailed how the likes of popular dark web marketplace, Wall Street Market, and cryptocurrency mixer, Bestmixer, were investigated.

Indeed, earlier this year, Hard Fork reported that a collaboration between law enforcement agencies from across Europe took down the cryptocurrency mixing service. Bestmixer.io is believed to have been one of the three largest cryptocurrency mixing services, having turned over $200 million since it commenced operations in May 2018.

While this might be Europol’s first use of a gamified training platform to help teach law enforcers how to trace cryptocurrencies, Interpol implemented a similar idea a few years ago.

In 2015, reports stated that Interpol had created its own in-house cryptocurrency to study criminal scenarios in a simulation training game.

Published June 14, 2019 — 11:07 UTC