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Key Things to Keep in Mind when Conducting Cryptocurrency Investigations

This is very similar to conducting an investigation, but a little more information is necessary to get out of the subject to possibly gather some of this confusing intel.  The intel needed is confusing, because there is so much of it and is relatively complicated to someone who does not know what it is that they are looking for.

The first thing to remember is when you are asking questions to the subject remember to ask questions specifically about the use of cryptocurrency.  Instead of just asking typical questions like who, what, why, when, and where ask more detailed questions.  A good example question would be “Where are your private keys stored?” or “Where do you buy your cryptocurrency?”.  These kinds of questions will potentially give you the information that you are looking for when trying to determine information on their cryptocurrency use.

Always remember when looking for evidence to recognize the electronic devices that are found around the crime scene.  Always make sure to handle these things with caution, remembering that there could be fingerprints left behind from the subject on the electronic device.  Along with this is if the device is powered off keep it powered off until just before you are about to use it for the investigation as if you power it on too early, then it could have a remote memory wipe system and all of the memory could get wiped off remotely.

Always look for signs of cryptocurrency use around the house that you are investigating.  Sometimes it may be in paper wallet form and be in a drawer.  While other times it could be labeled around the building as a Bitcoin computer.  Even more so be on the lookout for mnemonic words that are sitting around in a notebook or something as those could be the random words for their private key.

Cryptocurrency is becoming more widely used than ever before, so law enforcement must keep an eye out for the signs that a cryptocurrency was in use as it could lead them deeper into the investigation.  Virtual currency is not easy to track, but with some basic knowledge, it could become much more tangible to track down.

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