US Appeals Court Allows Warrantless Search of Blockchain, Exchange Data

A federal appeals court on Tuesday affirmed a lower court’s denial of a motion to suppress evidence in a case that hinged on whether the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects Bitcoin blockchain records from warrantless search and seizure.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans rejected defendant Richard Gratkowski’s claims his blockchain and Coinbase-held bitcoin transaction records could not be used as evidence against him. Gratkowski, who was convicted and sentenced last year on child pornography charges, had paid for the material in bitcoin.

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