Dave Jevans, the CEO of blockchain security company CipherTrace, is now qualified as the first-ever expert witness in Bitcoin by the Canadian Court.
Revealing the details of the court case, the firm disclosed Jevans testified as a Bitcoin expert during a recent hearing regarding a police seizure of digital assets valued CDN $1.4 million were seized.
At the trial, approved by the judge with a previous request of the Ontario Crown Attorney, Jevans was allowed to give testimony in court.
The Court Case
The case where Jevans was permitted to testify as an expert began in 2015, with a search warrant the authorities obtained for the property of Matthew Phan, a man accused of dealing in drugs and firearms on the dark web.
Phan used Bitcoin, the world’s most famous digital asset, to manage all the transactions. On the dark web, Phan reportedly operated within two marketplaces—Agora and Evolution.
When searching his residence, including his storage locker and his condo, the police was able to seize narcotics worth $2.5 million. Among the drugs, MDMA, cocaine and fentanyl could be found.
This, however, was not the only evidence the defendant was involved in drug trafficking. The authorities also discovered scales, baggies and envelopes with addresses on them.
All of the evidence combined was an indication on Phan’s illicit trades.
The further investigation led to finding the defendant’s computer, and there, the police uncovered a digital wallet Phan had in his possession with 288 Bitcoins in it.
Due to this, Jevans testified in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice forfeiture hearing. His experience running crypto intelligence firm CipherTrace led the Canadian Court to select him as a witness.
Tracing Transactions on the Dark Web
Despite the efforts of the authorities to crack down on criminal activities, digital assets are surely becoming a predominant currency.
As of today, Bitcoin is one of the most used cryptocurrency on the dark web.
Acquiring Bitcoins does not require the users to reveal their identities, creating an ideal resource for online criminals.
The darknet ecosystem makes it very hard for the authorities to track Bitcoin transactions.
In Phan’s court case, this is where the help of an expert, such as Jevans, changed the trial drastically.
After it was discovered that the defendant had, in fact, a digital wallet containing many Bitcoins, Jevans was able to share his knowledge to the court regarding Phan’s transactions.
As he revealed, even if he knew nothing about the case, by the presented Bitcoin addresses, Jevans would have been able to conclude that Phan was dealing in narcotics online.
Jevans managed to trace the numerous transactions, which ultimately led to the illegal trades of the defendant on two darknet markets, Agora and Evolution.
Dwayne King, the former detective constable in the Asset Forfeiture Unit who was a lead investigator in the 2015 investigation, said in a statement that CipherTrace’s blockchain forensics tools would have helped him immensely at the time.
As King acknowledged, Jevans’ report in court was a vital piece in the case.
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