Crypto Exchange Creating Wallet Blacklist to Fight Fentanyl Crisis

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Cryptocurrecny exchange firm Einstein has set its sights on the using cryptocurrency not just as a financial tool but also as a possible means to get the world rallying together to help deter the growing international fentanyl epidemic.

According to the Vancouver-based company, they envision having access to alists of wallet addresses linked to addresses tagged in fentanyl arrests and indictments. These were the details divulged by Einstein’s chief anti-money laundering officer, Christine Duhaime. With this program, the goal is for them to be able to prevent users to send cryptocurrency to these alleged money-laundering wallets.

Fentanyl is a widely popular (and infamous) synthetic drug that is said to be 50 times stronger than heroin. Addiction to it is so strong that is said to be responsible for as much as 66% of overdose-related deaths in the United States back in 2016. Although these staggering numbers are from across the border, the problem grows and thrives much closer to home. According to Duhaime, fentanyl has caused as much as 922 drug overdose cases.

As for bitcoin, it comes into the picture by giving the authorities the information they need to track down potential fentanyl use issues. For those who are dealing in cryptocurrency, however, this could pose some serious problems precisely because of the intrusion into their privacy. There is also a very real fear of being put in the blacklist of the “fungibility of bitcoin and other tokens.” For Duhaime, however, even bank records can fall under scrutiny as well despite the right to privacy. Besides, wallet addresses are public, she says.

Meanwhile, Michael Gokturk, CEO of Einsten said, “Cryptocurrencies need government regulation to deter price manipulation and related wrongs, but the absence of such regulation is one of the biggest reasons that investors buy into cryptocurrencies in the first place.”

 

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