Canadian court certifies first ever Bitcoin expert witness

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If you’re a fan of legal dramas you’ll know that expert witnesses can play an important, and often contentious, role. Each side on the case wants to discredit the other side’s experts, and so on. Now, in Canada, a criminal court has certified Ciphertrace CEO, Dave Jevans, as an expert witness on Bitcoin.

His company is a blockchain security company and Jevans has been testifying in a case against Matthew Phan, a drug dealer convicted for trafficking in drugs and weapons on the dark web, CCN reports.

Phan was arrested in 2018 and his Bitcoin wallet seized — the first time this had happened in Canada. The certification of Jevans is another first for the country’s criminal justice system.

Phan argued that half of his crypto stash wasn’t from drug dealing. He contended that only his Bitcoin was used on the dark web. But, when Canadian police raided his apartment, they found all the drugs he was accused of selling, plus his unencrypted Bitcoin wallet. It is standard in the USA that if you are convicted of drug dealing then the government can seize most or all of your assets, and the same is true of other countries.

However, due to Jevans testimony during his court appearance, Phan lost his appeal to retain half of his Bitcoin.

One of the lawyers for the prosecution said:

“I would have loved to have access to a tool such as CipherTrace when I originally conducted this investigation in May of 2015. The report prepared by Dave really was the pivotal piece in the Crown’s case for forfeiture.”

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