Are Bitcoin Users Being Tracked by the NSA?

New information regarding the US National Security Agency (NSA) revealed that they have been tracking Bitcoin owners from around the world, generating unease in the cryptocurrency market as investors and traders fear of prices free falling, according to Express.

Leaked information points to crypto tracking

The latest disclosure appeared after whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed that the NSA made use of only one source to “help track down senders and receivers of Bitcoin”. In the report is said that even though the NSA was tracking a long list of cryptocurrencies, the spy agency is mostly focused on Bitcoins.

“NSA agent is hoping to use the access for their mission of looking at organized crime and cyber targets that utilize online e-currency services to move and launder money. These illicit finance networks provide user access to international monetary systems while providing a high degree of anonymity,” read part of the document.

The newest leaked file also said that the NSA’s interest in blockchain, the underlying technology of digital currencies, may have also involved collecting data using the computer of investors. The NSA could have gained access to information such as network ports, timestamps, and internet addresses.

The document also stated that “Bitcoin targets” could generate mass fears amid investors which would in turn cause a major crash in the prices of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin’ s price goes up

However, it seems that Snowden’s leak did not have much influence, seeing as Bitcoin reached $9,138 as of 6am UTC on Wednesday and had an increase of 6.94% over the past 24 hours, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Another report made by the Express attributes bitcoin’s price surge to the meeting between central bank governors and finance of G20 members in Argentina as the reason. Before the meeting the digital currency was sitting around the $8,500, having bounced back with $1,500 from its past low.

Federico Sturzenegger, Governor of the Central Bank of Argentina, said that the discussion was a “very good meeting” and mostly brushed off fears regarding cryptocurrency risks.

“The spirit of the discussion was very productive, and I agree that everybody left very pleased,” said   Sturzenegger.

Mark Carney, chairman of the Financial Stability Board, who also works for the Bank of England (BoE) governor, sent a letter to G20 central bank governors and finance ministers in which he said that his office started a review of the possible threats cryptocurrencies might present but did not find any.

“Their small size, and the fact that they are not substitutes for currency and with very limited use for real economy and financial transactions has meant the linkages to the rest of the financial system are limited,” read the letter. 

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