During a crypto-themed Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit, the U.S. Secret Service surprised participants by disclosing their ownership of cryptocurrencies and their very own NFT collection. Representatives from the Secret Service San Francisco Field Office and the Bay Area Regional Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) engaged with members of the r/cryptocurrency subreddit on May 15.
Contrary to some regulators’ skepticism toward cryptocurrencies, the REACT task force expressed admiration for the public and transparent nature of blockchains, recognizing them as an “amazing opportunity” for combating financial crimes by enabling the tracking of money flow.
The Secret Service emphasized the advantages of blockchain technology’s immutability in monitoring and tracking illicit financial activities, highlighting a forthcoming Bitfinex story featured on Netflix that underscores the difficulty of laundering money using blockchain.
Responding to queries on how to hide dubious behavior on the blockchain, the Secret Service advised that using cash rather than crypto is preferable for those engaged in financially illicit activities.
When asked if the Secret Service itself held cryptocurrencies, the agency confirmed being “definitely holders of crypto” and described themselves as crypto enthusiasts. Owning cryptocurrencies helps them gain a deeper understanding of the crypto world’s intricacies.
The agency humorously mentioned that most cases require simplifying explanations akin to the popular subreddit r/explainlikeimfive, stating that it’s somewhat of an inside joke among the Secret Service.
According to the Secret Service, the majority of calls and reports they receive regarding financial crimes involve cryptocurrencies in some way, emphasizing the unique aspects of digital currencies compared to traditional finance. They highlighted the irreversible and immutable nature of crypto transactions as a significant difference between crypto crimes and illicit activities in fiat investigations.
While the AMA covered a broad range of serious topics, there was room for lightheartedness. When a Redditor inquired about the Secret Service launching its own “memecoin,” the agency responded by promoting their NFT collection on OpenSea.