Written by Nick Heer.

Inside the Investigation That Took Down AlphaBay and Hansa

Andy Greenberg, author of “Sandworm”, has a new book out called “Tracers in the Dark” about the new investigative techniques to find criminals who use Tor and cryptocurrencies. Over the past month and a half, Wired has dripped out a lengthy excerpt from the book. The final part was published this week and I spent today reading the whole thing in full.

It leaves much to think about. There are huge ethical questions with unsatisfying answers. For example, Hansa was secretly operated by Dutch police for about a month before it was shut down. But when Greenberg asked investigators whether they had any qualms about facilitating thousands of drug sales, they seemed to give it little thought.

Nevertheless, it is an extraordinary look into a large and expertly coordinated investigation of a modern-day drug market kingpin, well narrated by Greenberg. I was a big fan of “Sandworm”, and I am looking forward to this book becoming available for me at my library.