Bitcoin: UK police forces have seized more than £300 million in cryptocurrencies

Figures gathered by New Scientist show that UK police forces have seized bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies worth more than £300 million during criminal investigations.



Technology



5 January 2022

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin on October 24, 2017 in London, England. Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Lightcoin have seen unprecedented growth in 2017, despite remaining extremely volatile. While digital currencies across the board have divided opinion between financial institutions, and now have a market cap of around 175 Billion USD, the crypto sector coninues to grow, as it sees wider mainstreem adoption. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Bitcoin has no physical form, so is hard to track

2017 Getty Images

POLICE forces across the UK have seized bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies valued at almost a third of a billion pounds during criminal investigations, New Scientist can reveal. But this figure may be only a tiny fraction of the illicit funds being used in the UK, because police face significant technological and legislative hurdles when investigating crimes involving cryptocurrencies.

Freedom of information (FOI) requests made by New Scientist show that 12 of the UK’s 48 police forces have seized cryptocurrency in …


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