Can anyone be surprised the Russians whose hacking allegedly interfered with the 2016 presidential election were funded with bitcoin (BTC) and other digital money? After all, when you are going covert, how better to be paid than in a cryptocurrency based on anonymity.
According to the U.S. Justice Department indictment issued Friday, 12 Russian military intelligence officers used bitcoin to fund the infrastructure that allegedly hacked into the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
The indictment, part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, says the Russians “conspired to launder the equivalent of more than $95,000 through a web of transactions structured to capitalize on the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin” in order to fund their hacking activities.
“This is the first clear example in court documents of cryptocurrency being used to purchase capabilities that could be leveraged in attacks on national security,” Jonathan Levin, a co-founder of Chainalysis, a firm that helps governments track cryptocurrency payments, told the New York Times. A dubious distinction. Read more here.