Last Friday, a federal indictment that was announced by Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, turned another page in the account of the claimed Russian meddling during the most recent presidential elections in the United States of America. The said indictment featured cryptocurrency. The document was released just before a major summit between Putin and Trump that is set to be held in Helsinki next week. According to the said document, the agents from Russia made use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin in their campaigns to influence the results of the 2016 US Presidential Elections.
The authorities in Washington say that the hackers who are working for the foreign military intelligence of Russia used cryptocurrencies as payment for the servers in the United States and Malaysia, virtual private networks (VPNs), and website domains that were used in releasing information that was stolen from the Democratic camp and to cover their identities and conceal their tracks. They were also able to launder over $95,000 through bitcoin.
The 12 GRU officers that were accused by Robert Mueller, the United States special counsel, are said to have been able to acquire bitcoin (BTC) in various ways, including through peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trading platforms, and also with the use of other digital coins and prepaid credit cards. Investigators in the United States say that the Russians were also able to mine their own cryptocurrency.
The indictment was the first to level criminal charges against the officials of Russia who are pertaining to the alleged election interference. It suggests that the crypto funds were utilised to lease servers in two of the states of the US namely Arizona and Illinois. These states were where the hacked information was stored. They also say that the crypto funs were used to pay a Romanian firm through a US-based processor to set up a website that was used to spread it.