17:25 GMT22 February 2020
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    The purchases of child sex abuse imagery in which virtual currency bitcoin is used may soon be tracked and blocked, as two organizations have agreed to share data on the bitcoin transactions, media reported Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the BBC broadcaster, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), an organization tracking abuse websites, has started passing data to Elliptic, a company monitoring Bitcoin transactions, while Elliptic is now passing data on such illicit transactions to exchanges and other bitcoin users to help them avoid doing business with "known bad actors."

    "This is the first time anybody has started identifying these crimes in Bitcoin and flagging them up in a system like ours," head of Elliptic James Smith said, as quoted by the broadcaster.

    Sarah Smith, IWF's technical researcher, reportedly suggested that Bitcoins' "pseudo-anonymity" had made the currency a highly attractive payment method in criminal circles.

    Bitcoin, a popular web-based cryptocurrency, was introduced in 2009. It can be used to purchase goods and services from online retailers.

    Unlike traditional currencies, bitcoin has no material form and global currency regulation does not apply to it. An unlimited number of anonymous sources can issue and use the cryptocurrency.


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    child abuse, cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, United States
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