City of London Police have arrested a 19-year-old citizen suspected of hacking major music acts in a bid to steal unreleased songs and sell them for digital currency, Canadian daily newspaper The Vancouver Sun reported on Sept. 13.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office initiated an investigation after receiving complaints from management companies of recording artists. Commenting on the matter, Detective Inspector Nick Court from the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit stated:

“Today’s action marks a significant point in our investigation into the individuals responsible for stealing music and selling it on illegal streaming websites, worldwide.”

Crypto facilitates crime?

Criminals have increasingly used cryptocurrencies for illicit activities, according to blockchain security company CipherTrace. In 2019, bad actors primarily used Bitcoin (BTC) for buying and selling illegal drugs, weapons, as well as cyber and banking credentials on darknet markets.

Neil Wals, chief of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Cybercrime Program, warned last month that cryptocurrencies have made combating money laundering significantly harder. He believes that cryptocurrencies add a layer of secrecy, which can facilitate crime.

Entertainment embraces digital currencies

Nonetheless, digital currencies are quietly entering the entertainment sector, with its major players exploring and embracing the new asset class. Earlier in September, Korean pop music giant SM Entertainment revealed plans to build its own cryptocurrency and blockchain. SM Entertainment reportedly expects the blockchain platform to bridge the physical and virtual world.

Global media giant Warner Music Group will also be creating digital assets using new public blockchain backed by CryptoKitties creator. The company’s recent investment of not less than $1 million in the form of a convertible security intends to unlock a new method for sharing Warner Music’s content as well as a new type of engagement with artists.

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