This article was published on July 25, 2019

Mafia expert: ‘Ndrangheta crime family now resembles a ‘criminal blockchain’

This crime family is decentralizing to survive

Mafia expert: ‘Ndrangheta crime family now resembles a ‘criminal blockchain’

International investigators warn the ‘Ndrangheta mafia family now resembles a “criminal blockchain” following the recent decentralization of its internal power structures.

Usually, ‘Ndrangheta families in Canada take orders from “mother clans” in Calabria, but for the first time, mobsters outside of Siderno are making decisions that impact operations all the way back to Italy, reports National Post.

“The governing body of the Siderno branch no longer operates only in Calabria, transmitting orders abroad, but also does so directly on Canadian soil, to give it a more effective and efficient command structure,” said Italian authorities in court documents.

OK, this Mafia isn’t really using blockchain

Sure, it appears the ‘Ndrangheta is decentralizing, but it isn’t using a blockchain to do so.

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According to National Post, it’s really about about survival, which seems to be the foundation of this bizarre analogy.

Police have said the concentration of ’Ndrangheta authority in Canada has become something “never seen before.”

Parallel organizational structures in Toronto, to where many notable ‘Ndrangheta mobsters have fled, reportedly allows operations to run smoothly even if police happen to raid crime bosses back in Italy.

Where’s the diagram for mafia?

I guess, in an abstract way, this resembles a decentralized blockchain-powered network like Bitcoin (kinda). If you take down any number of Bitcoin nodes, the system doesn’t collapse entirely.

Bitcoin’s design indeed means it will stay alive after a large percentage of its network suddenly goes dark, but to say that any system with a degree of decentralization is a blockchain (as these mafia experts have done) is, at best, a stretch.

Still, it’s certainly refreshing to see the phrase “criminal blockchain” used to describe something actually illegal, instead of as a slight against Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency.

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