The United States’ Secret Service agency just ‘spilled the beans’ about its participation in Web3 on a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything Session (AMA) on May 15th.
Representatives from the Bay Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) and the U.S. Secret Service San Francisco Field Office answered questions from the subreddit community r/cryptocurrency — and the answers were surprising to many.
To sum things up, the Secret Service owns crypto, has its own NFT collection, and is a fan of the blockchain for its ability to fight financial crime. The latter fact could be the most notable, considering how much critics and regulators like to paint crypto as a technology for con artists and scammers.
One thing that makes crypto easier to track than fiat money, and thus harder to launder, is the immutability of the blockchain. According to REACT, since each crypto transaction is irreversible, transparent, and recorded on an immutable ledger, agents can much easier track the flow of money.
This might not be a shock to crypto holders, many of whom have been yelling this from the rooftops (ie. on Crypto Twitter) for years. However, coming from the agency that not only protects the U.S.’s interest abroad, but is responsible for protecting its financial infrastructure as well, makes it a big deal for the crypto space.
The Secret Service told the curious and sometimes skeptical subreddit community that its team of Special Agents and analysts “embrace the future of money” and are “dedicated to keeping cryptocurrency and its users safe.” They also revealed the agency was “definitely” holding cryptocurrency, and went so far as to describe themselves as “enthusiasts.” They added that holding crypto helps them better understand the crypto ecosystem.
With a refreshing sense of humor, the agency wrote that it often required a “certain level of ‘ELI’ing’ when it comes to crypto — referencing the subreddit r/explainlikeimfive. They closed out by revealing the agency has its own NFT collection listed on OpenSea.
The REACT Task Force investigates high-tech crimes to disrupt criminal networks and identify emerging threats. Over the past year, the team has recovered millions in stolen cryptocurrency funds.
Government Agencies Around the World Embrace Web3 Tech
When we hear about the government and crypto, it’s often in regard to regulation and crackdowns. But the U.S. Secret Service isn’t the only government agency that’s using Web3 technology to its advantage. At Rarity Sniper, we’ve covered several government agencies investing in crypto, blockchain, NFTs, and the Metaverse. Here are the top stories.
First, about a month ago, Romania’s National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics (ICI Bucharest) announced it was launching an NFT trading platform. The ‘ICI D|Services’ marketplace will let users mint, hold, and trade NFTs. The project is backed by the Romanian government.
Next, on February 15, 2023, Columbia experimented with an actual court hearing in Meta’s Horizon Workrooms, a collaborative metaverse platform. María Victoria Quiñones Triana, the magistrate of the Magdalena court, said the technology facilitated and expedited the process of executing justice.
Finally, about three months ago, the California Department of Motor Vehicles partnered with Tezos to build its own blockchain. The blockchain will first be used to digitalize car titles for California drivers, ultimately making it easier for transactions like switching titles.
One reason Bitcoin was created was to allow people to own an asset that’s not controlled by the government. But that doesn’t mean government agencies around the world can’t use crypto and Web technologies to create projects, programs, and provide services that benefit the people.
Furthermore, an agency like the U.S. Secret Service praising blockchain and crypto as a tool to deter crime should make it tough to continue the argument that ‘crypto is for criminals.’ Perhaps more importantly, the fact that the Secret Service is fighting back against crypto scammers and fraudsters, ultimately making the space safer, is a win for everyone in Web3.
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