The Dutch Openbaar Ministerie Working on Illegal Trade on Online Marketplaces, Target Bitcoin


The Dutch Openbaar Ministerie Working on Illegal Trade on Online Marketplaces, Target Bitcoin

A document has been released by the Dutch Openbaar Ministerie, their Public Prosecution Service. They leaked a document to regarding plans for Project: ITOM (Illegal Trade on Online Marketplaces) says that the efforts will be put to have an eye on Bitcoin using the comprehensive approach.

According to the Dutch OM he will be working in conjunction with government agencies from around the world, mostly Europe. He says that the entire effort is to hinder the development of the deep web’s online marketplaces, which happen to also sell drugs among other government-approved things.

Though there are several points, the first point elaborated by the leaked document showed the Dutch OM’s intention to discourage and deter the use of illegal online markets. He recommended the use of the “criminal court” for the purpose. Also, international cooperation will be sought by the group.

According to the document the groups hopes to unmask several Deep Web dealers and prosecute them in open court so that the would-be perpetrators are scared and any potential losses ruled out. Perhaps, the authorities in Holland are trying to rule out any incidence like Silk Road which was busted by the US agencies for running a drug business using Bitcoin.

The information leaked says that though the proper use of encryption communication technology still serves to deter prying eyes, many dealers are lazy in their operational security protocols. For instance, they do not take advantage of available open source technologies and prone to cyber attacks as well.

It’s Sort of BitLicense

Bitcoin which has been blamed by the agencies that it is being used for contraband activities does not have any regulator or central agency that can control the circulation or its use. However, the agencies want to work to crack down on shipments of drugs around and out of Europe and this measure is part of that.

As the document says that a lot of users use Bitcoin for buying illicit goods project ITOM will result in regulations that make it easier for the government to track Bitcoins. It will identify their owner and get them tried in courts. It is very much like what has been advocated in the US by BitLicense.

The combined effort can help the authorities catch the culprits. For instance, the last year, the United States was able to shut down Silk Road 1.0, the first Deep Web service to truly launch illegal trade on online marketplaces with the help of other countries and their agencies.

To contact the reporter of this story: Deepak Tiwari at