It is now confirmed that Kremlin operatives used Bitcoin to fund the hacking of the Democratic National Committee- the national governing body of the Democratic Party. This act, according to many people, amount to interference in the 2016 US presidential elections and may have contributed to Donald Trump’s election.
The Two-Year Report Has Just Been Concluded
The two-year investigation into Russian collusion just ended with the release of the official finding titled as the “Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election”. The report contains the findings of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team that has been closely followed by Americans.
Russians Were Involved
In March, the US AG William Barr gave a premature claim that the inquiry has not found any collusion smoking gun. However, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) on April 18, 2019, published a redacted version of the finding that is implicating the Russian government.
In the 4th page of the report, the involvement of the General Staff of the Russian Army (GRU), which is under the Main Intelligence Directorate of Russia, in bankrolling cyberwarfare against the DNC is revealed. The implications are that the action damaged Clinton’s reputation and hurt her chances of winning.
30 pages later, the report conveys that the two units in the GRU then hacked computers belonging to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton’s campaign. They then leaked emails that also prove how Clinton cheated her way through the Democratic Party primaries among other revelations.
How Bitcoin Was Used
One of the GRU subunits was found to have operated a Bitcoin mining expedition to raise BTC. The subunit aimed to use the Tokens to acquire computer infrastructure that could be used to launch the cyber-attacks, the report adds. The team also developed malware as well as ran “spearphishing campaigns” for gaining access to DNC servers.
The famous Mueller report delves deeper and reveals that the BTC that the GRU subunit team mined were stored on CEX.io- a UK-based exchange and cloud mining platform. From their wallet, the team even paid anonymously for their “dcleaks.com” domain on April 19, 2016.
A Misuse Of Bitcoin Is Evident
The Mueller report is corroborating long-held assumptions that anti-western regimes such as Russia and North Korea have been using Cryptos to bypass US and international sanctions as well as to fund dark web attacks. The only difference is that some countries like Russia mine their Tokens while others such as North Korea stole Tokens from South Korean exchanges.
No Cause For Alarm In The Crypto Community
It has for long been suspected that Cryptos are being used in the shadow economy and the Mueller report is confirming the allegations against Russia. However, there is no cause for alarm in the Bitcoin and other Crypto communities. This is because the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in January 2018, stated that Crypto exchanges are operating under KYC regulations like banks.
Therefore, bad actors that evade KYC/AML policies on Crypto exchanges should be put on notice that their days are numbered as the Mueller team was able to discover the Russian’s accounts on CEX.io. and so, can other investigative agencies.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has as usual thrown a jab at “haters and the radical democratic leftists” tweeting “game over”. On the other hand, Democratic leaders are warning Trump that he is not yet exonerated from the Russian collusion allegation. Interestingly, Vladimir Putin is yet to respond on the findings.