July 27, 2021

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A blockchain-based Forensic Model for Financial Crime Investigation: The Embezzlement Scenario. (arXiv:2008.07958v3 [cs.CR] UPDATED)

The financial crime landscape is evolving along with the digitization in
financial services. In this context, laws and regulations cannot efficiently
cope with a fast-moving industry such as finance, which translates in late
adoption of measures and legal voids, providing a fruitful landscape for
malicious actors. In parallel, blockchain technology and its promising features
such as immutability, verifiability, and authentication, enhance the
opportunities of financial forensics. In this paper, we focus on an
embezzlement scheme and we provide a forensic-by-design methodology for its
investigation. In addition, the feasibility and adaptability of our approach
can be extended and embrace digital investigations on other types of schemes.
We provide a functional implementation based on smart contracts and we
integrate standardised forensic flows and chain of custody preservation
mechanisms. Finally, we discuss the benefits and challenges of the symbiotic
relationship between blockchain and financial investigations, along with future
research directions.