Major Korean Exchanges Announce "Cooperate with Investigation of Room N"

After the Telegram chat group "N Room" filmed sexual exploitation videos of women and minors, and used cryptocurrencies to charge users for dissemination of related videos, the Korean police issued official letters to domestic cryptocurrency exchanges and began investigating related members List. The types of cryptocurrencies accepted in Room N include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Monero.

Send a letter to the four major domestic exchanges requesting cooperation in the investigation

On March 24, Bithumb and other domestic cryptocurrency exchanges indicated that the exchange received a letter from the police requesting cooperation in investigating the Telegram "Doctor Chat Group" incident and has started investigating the list of relevant members. Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, Korbit and other four major exchanges in Korea that have real-name verified deposits and withdrawals have received official letters from the police. A related person at Bithumb said that "currently actively cooperating with the police investigation", "but it is estimated that many users purchase cryptocurrencies through small and medium-sized exchanges, and there should not be too many people found."

Tracking Bitcoin and Ethereum account addresses through exchange coordination

Cryptocurrencies used by House N for group entry fees include Bitcoin (BTC), Monero (XMR), and Ethereum (ETH). Bitcoin and Ethereum can track the transaction records backwards, lock the wallet account of both parties, and ascertain the identities of both parties. According to the relevant person in the exchange who received the official letter from the police, the police locked the exchange used by the suspect through reverse tracking based on the wallet address of the suspect "Doctor" in room N, and sent a request to cooperate with the investigation. Official letter.

It is understood that there are more than 100 users who use Monero to pay the entry fee. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Monero's anonymity is relatively strong and cannot track the information of both parties in a transaction. Therefore, the payment method requested by users in Room N is mainly Monero. Of the cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea, only Bithumb and Huobi Korea have opened Monero trading. Bithumb said that it is cooperating with the police investigation, and Huobi Korea said that it has not received the relevant official letter.

Investigated by police on B exchange in Monero purchase site

The survey shows that among the charging users in the chat group, some users who are not familiar with cryptocurrency transactions mainly trade through the cryptocurrency intermediary company "B Exchange". Because the suspect had suggested that some paying users purchase Monero coins through the B exchange to pay the group fee. In response, the police conducted a seizure search on the B exchange on March 20 and obtained more than 2,000 related transaction records. Police said, "Relevant users may have left a real phone number in order to contact the B exchange to understand the progress of the transaction, and these people are likely to keep the content of sexual exploitation videos taken by the suspect."

Overseas exchanges and personal wallet transactions are difficult to track

In addition to domestic cryptocurrency exchanges and B exchanges, there may be users of House N who conduct transactions through overseas exchanges or personal wallets. Although Korean domestic exchanges can cooperate with the investigation and list the users, overseas exchanges may not easily cooperate with the investigation. A relevant person in a company that provides blockchain tracking technology said that "Bitcoin can track user identity through means such as dusting", "but if users trade through overseas exchanges or people who know more about cryptocurrencies use individuals Wallets use Monero to make transactions difficult to track. "

JOIND Yuan Yuanran reporter won.jaeyeon@joongang.co.kr