To fight cryptocurrency crimes, police in Alberta’s largest city are using a worldwide blockchain data platform.
A cooperation between Calgary police and Chainalysis, a U.S.-based business that offers data, software, and research services to governmental organizations, financial institutions, cybersecurity firms, and now law enforcement groups, was announced on 12 April.
Calgary police on partnership with Chainalysis
The Western Canada Cryptocurrency Investigations Centre was established as a consequence, and it will act as a hub for the public and business sectors to learn about new developments in cryptocurrencies and cybercrime.
A new investigational division for cryptocurrency and blockchain-related matters is also being developed by Calgary police.
According to Police Chief Mark Neufeld, law enforcement and other specialized businesses must work together to combat cybercrime.
Officers want to be able to assist someone who loses crypto in the same way they would assist a senior who was robbed after withdrawing cash from a bank machine, he claimed.
According to Neufeld, “We would move heaven and earth to solve that crime for that senior, but if that same person clicks on the wrong link in an email and has thousands of dollars stolen from them, we need to be able to move heaven and earth in the very same way and release those digital hounds in the digital world to get that money back.”
The police added that because of several circumstances, including different worldwide locations and jurisdictions, sophisticated criminal strategies, and swiftly developing technology, it can be challenging for them to completely investigate cybercrimes, especially cryptocurrency frauds.
Last year, $13.9 million in losses from cryptocurrency-related crimes were reported to Calgary police, and an additional $3.2 million has been reported so far this year. According to Neufeld, that is often lower than one might anticipate for a metropolis with 1.4 million residents.
“That’s because many people believe that not much can be done, and many people and corporations accept that belief.”
In Calgary, a sizable immigrant community, according to Neufeld, transfers money abroad, which puts them “possibly exposed to being defrauded.”
Chainalysis on allaince
Chainalysis co-founder and chief strategy officer Jonathan Levin wrote in a blog post announcing the alliance that “this display of public-private partnership to address innovative difficulties in financial services is a paradigm that the rest of the world can learn from.”
In Canada, adoption rates for cryptocurrencies have significantly increased, claims Chainalysis. According to the company’s blog post, “When we look at Canadian engagement with crypto ATMs, decentralized exchanges, and centralized exchanges, we see that Canada has experienced a nearly 213% increase since 2019 as of January 2023, with a peak level of adoption around 865% greater than March 2019 in May of 2021, driven largely by interest in DeFi.”
Yet there has also been a rise in crime with this quick expansion. In Canada alone, bitcoin frauds cost consumers more than $41 million in 2022, according to Chainalysis. There was at least CAD 1,144 in overall exposure to criminal crypto activity per 1,000 Canadians within the same period, the report said.
The initiative will be expanded to include more Western Canadian law enforcement organizations, according to Chainalysis, as the next stage. The business wants to “expand this concept internationally, partnering with law enforcement officers throughout the world to deliver tailored, personalized products depending on the particular needs of the location at hand.”