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Interpol creates cryptocurrency to better understand criminals

Interpol believes the best way to counter criminals using the dark web and cryptocurrencies is to better understand how the Tor network, as well as the rest of the dark web works in the first place.

In order to get there, the international police agency set up its own marketplace, similar to the notorious Silk Road, as well as a cryptocurrency. According to a report by the IB Times, during a recent five-day training course participants role-played as vendors, buyers and administrators of black market websites on the dark web. Live law enforcement "take downs" of the simulated sites were also carried out to help improve the understanding of the technical infrastructure of the Tor network

"Darknets are fast emerging as the preferred trading venue for organised crime networks and individuals to carry out illicit activities, with cryptocurrencies the preferred medium for paying for these criminal services," said Madan Oberoi, the director of cyber innovation and outreach unit at Interpol's Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI).

"The specialised training provided by Interpol equips law enforcement with the understanding and tools they need to take very real action targeting criminals in the virtual world."

Interpol is not stopping there. The training will continue in Brussels in November, while the agency will look at law enforcement policy surrounding existing virtual currencies.

"Cybercrime is a domain where information and expertise lie outside the domain of law enforcement agencies," Oberoi said. "We have to reach out to other stakeholders... consult each other and work closely."