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Telfer Research Seminar Series and Centre for a Responsible Wealth Transition - Daniel Rabetti Wealthier

An Anatomy of Crypto-Enabled Cybercrime

Date & Time

March 21, 2023


Online - link provided in reminder email before the seminar


Kathy Cunningham

***M.Sc. Students, this event can count towards one of the six mandatory Research Seminars Series needed to attend (MHS6991 or MGT6991).***




Daniel Rabetti, PhD (co-authors Lin William Cong, Campbell R. Harvey, and Zong-Yu Wu)

While the advent of cryptocurrencies and digital assets holds promise for improving and disrupting financial systems by offering cheap, quick, and secure transfer of value, it also opens up new payment channels for cybercrimes. A prerequisite to solving a problem is understanding the nature of the problem. Assembling a diverse set of public, proprietary, and hand-collected data, including dark web conversations in Russian, we conduct the first detailed anatomy of crypto-enabled cybercrimes and highlight relevant economic issues. Our analyses reveal that a few organized ransomware gangs dominate the space and have evolved into sophisticated corporate-like operations with physical offices, franchising, and affiliation programs. Their techniques have also become more aggressive, entailing multiple extortion and reputation management layers. Blanket restrictions on cryptocurrency usage may prove ineffective in tackling crypto-enabled cybercrime and hinder innovations. Instead, blockchain transparency and digital footprints enable effective forensics for tracking, monitoring, and shutting down dominant cybercriminal organizations. 

About the Speaker

I am a financial economist from Sao Paulo, Brazil, pursuing a Ph.D. in Business at Tel Aviv University and visiting Cornell Daniel Rabetti University. My research lies at the intersection of financial economics, financial innovation, and disclosure. I have been working on several academic projects in FinTech, lending markets, disclosure, and regulation.

My research has already been published in Management Science, Journal of Account Research, and covered by Washington Post, Bloomberg, and the Financial Times. 

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