Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency

Doubleday. Nov. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780385548090. $32.50. CRIME
Many readers do not understand how cryptocurrency works nor know that federal agents are attempting to take down a criminal empire of digital black markets. Greenberg (Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin’s Most Dangerous Hackers) methodically and meticulously explains the way cryptocurrency functions. He documents how Bitcoin has been used to conduct illegal activities and the agencies that follow it. The author debunks the myth that cryptocurrency is untraceable through a discussion of cases that agents have cracked by going after the heads of a dark website, which included the work of dirty agents trying to stay one step ahead of being caught. Since this illegal activity has developed only in the past decade, federal government agencies have a learning curve to fight it. These stories are fascinating and so enthralling, it is hard to distinguish real people from the aliases used to protect identities and privacies. Greenberg shows that tracking cryptocurrency is at once a cat-and-mouse game and a whack-a-mole situation.
VERDICT This highly recommended book has been picked up by Jigsaw Productions to develop into a scripted screen adaptation, a documentary, and a podcast. There are few books on the crypto underworld, making this a must for all libraries.
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