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  • Lo Furneaux

Our Impact on Digital Asset Recovery with Business Matters

Updated: Feb 24

Last week, our co-founder & CEO Aidan Larkin was invited to sit down with Karl Fitzpatrick from South East Radio’s Business Matters Podcast to discuss the world of seized digital assets.

They examined how digital assets can be stolen and how our SaaS-based Asset Recovery Management System (ARMS) platform will provide a solution to the current challenges faced by law enforcement agencies worldwide when trying to recover digital assets.

Aidan was grateful for the opportunity to highlight our work:

“Many law enforcement agencies lack the funding or resources to tackle basic fraud scams in general, never mind those involving crypto as it requires blockchain analytics capability.”

“The majority of law enforcement is expected to do more with less, leaving victims marooned and often exploited when at their most vulnerable. Our work at Asset Reality is driven by building the infrastructure the asset recovery sector sorely needs to help victims and society get back what is theirs.”

Episode Breakdown

0:27 - Aidan’s experience in digital asset recovery

2:45 - How does our platform work?

4:19 - The impact of FTX’s collapse on the digital asset market

6:32 - The emerging trends in digital assets

9:04 - Asset Reality’s work with law enforcement

9:58 - How will we use our recent $6m investment?

Episode Summary

Karl began the interview by asking about Aidan’s background in digital asset recovery. Aidan explained that his previous roles as a criminal tax inspector for the HM Revenue & Customs in the UK and the Asset Recovery Director of Wilson’s Auctions gave him a unique insight into the challenges faced by asset recovery practitioners. After witnessing the rapid rise of digital assets and the additional challenges they bring for victims of digital asset fraud and the government agencies trying to recover them, Aidan was inspired to create a software solution focused on improving seized asset management.

He explained how government agencies are currently managing billions of dollars across thousands of asset classes through long and complicated excel spreadsheets, manual records and old legacy systems from the late 90s.

“One of the core aims of Asset Reality was to design a software or platform that could automate and make as much of this as simple as possible to get away from the old excel spreadsheets.”

Aidan went on to clarify that thanks to the unpredictable nature of asset recovery, investigators need access to a wide variety of different systems when tracking stolen digital assets across the blockchain. He highlighted how our Asset Recovery Management System (ARMS) platform has been specifically designed by industry experts to alleviate this particular issue:

“Rather than trying to have multiple arrangements with lots of different registered and regulated digital custodians to try and cover every single scenario, the idea is having a relationship with a platform… As practitioners who are experienced in this field and who are running this platform and designing it, it’s really up to us to make sure that all of the different avenues are covered.”

He continued by underlining the additional opportunities that are provided by investigating digital assets instead of physical luxury goods:

“Being able to monitor digital assets on the blockchain means that there are lots of inherent opportunities to audit, track and trace and do things that you just couldn’t do with a Ferrari or a boat or a pair of Louis Vuitton shoes that are seized regularly.”

Aidan wrapped up his point by emphasising our desire to enhance the current seized asset experience by reminding Karl that every inefficiency in the process makes it more expensive for law enforcement to manage the assets in their custody, which ultimately drains money from the public purse.

The two went on to discuss how the high-profile collapse of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange highlighted the sheer magnitude of the digital assets market. Aidan drew attention to the speed of the FTX case, using it to demonstrate the transparency of blockchain technology and the differences it makes to both evidence collection and the amount of money recovered from ill-gotten gains.

“Governments who are doubling down on digital asset recovery are recovering billions of dollars all around the world, outstripping regular asset recovery. So we see this as a huge area for growth - people are going to need the tools to manage whatever they find.”

After Karl asked about the emerging trends in the digital asset space and how sophisticated they may soon become, Aidan was keen to stress the work Asset Reality has been doing with victims of crypto-related fraud.

He explained that there is a limited number of law enforcement agencies that possess the required skills, resources and ability necessary to take on digital asset recovery cases, leading many victims and companies to ask Asset Reality to help their local police and governments with the seizure and recovery of stolen assets.

“We sort of stumbled into doing more and more reports for members of the public and helping people. Fast forward to today and we work with some of the biggest providers in the world like MetaMask, the biggest non-custodial digital wallet in the world, Phantom and Web3.”

Through this work, Asset Reality sees firsthand the victims of scams involving crypto assets. While some may be sophisticated attacks aimed at high-net-worth individuals, unfortunately like most fraudulent activity, the vast majority of crypto-related scams use simple understated social engineering techniques like phishing, vishing and smishing that are designed to trick vulnerable people into handing over their assets willingly.

Karl and Aidan went on to discuss the upcoming launch of our ARMS platform with the governments in Belgium, Jamaica and the Seychelles, as well as with several US entities. They touched upon the unique headstart that Ireland has with digital assets thanks to the number of Irish crypto investigators involved in the inception of the industry before concluding the interview with a look at how Asset Reality will be using the $6m investment we received in our most recent round of seed funding.

“Our main aim now is to build out the team and build out the technology. We’re just shy of 30 people at the moment and we have effectively been in an enhanced R&D stage, trying to figure out the main issues affecting the users.”

“We’ve got that early traction with different government entities and private sector companies. So now, it’s the cliche start-up example of putting our heads down for the next couple of months to really refine our product so that we can launch our first iteration of the platform to a wider market.”

If you would like to know more about our work in crypto-related frauds and asset recovery, contact

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