Our payment habits have drastically transformed in recent years, especially since the development of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain. Digital currencies operate on a computer network, decentralised from a typical financial institution. The innate characteristics of cryptocurrencies provide anonymity and privacy to perpetrators, however, a sense of being undetectable is false.
ICMEC Australia’s November Brown Bag event will cover a topical discussion for all those working in the child sexual exploitation response community. The trading of child sexual abuse material online is sometimes accompanied by a financial transaction, so understanding the different payment methods that offenders use is key to knowing how to navigate our response to this crime. For a whole-of-system response to be successful, expanding our knowledge and understanding of new technologies used by perpetrators is key.
With an increase in digital currencies as a method of payment, the rapid advancements in this area since the introduction of the Blockchain in 2008 have grown the complexity of detecting suspicious payments. Understanding how cryptocurrency operates and its differences from traditional banking structures is critical to applying frameworks to detect and prevent child sexual exploitation transactions.
Our presenter, Luke McGoldrick, comes from Chainalysis, a global Blockchain Data Platform. He will outline cryptocurrency, its capabilities, and the ways it has the potential to intersect with online child sexual exploitation. Luke will cover the different types of crypto, how they can be used to facilitate child sexual exploitation, and will dispel the idea that digital payments made on the Blockchain are completely untraceable.
Part of developing a robust response to child sexual exploitation online is to maintain pace with how offenders manipulate existing technologies to abuse and exploit children, including the use of crypto and other digital payments.
Luke McGoldrick is a Sales Director at Chainalysis responsible for financial institutions across Australia and NZ. In his role, he is helping organisations maintain compliance across digital asset initiatives and assisting financial crimes teams in reducing scams and illicit activity where crypto is involved. Having been involved in crypto since 2018 Luke is a strong advocate for the importance of building trust in blockchains in order for the technology to fulfill its potential.