Sheffield Hallam cryptocurrency investigation game wins European Commission Award

24th October 2023

A first-of-its kind cryptocurrency-tracing training game co-created by Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime Research (CENTRIC) has won a prestigious European Commission Award.

Cryptopol was developed and co-created by researchers in CENTRIC and Europol, the law enforcement agency of the EU, in 2019. It simulates a cryptocurrency investigation giving law enforcement hands-on practice using real-life scenarios.

The game is available to all law enforcement cryptocurrency investigators who are partner countries of Europol and have signed the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.

The game has been used by more than 1,400 people working for law enforcement agencies in 45 countries. An updated version of the game was released in April 2023 due to its success.

It won the Best Freeware Innovation Award at the 2023 Security Innovation Awards, which highlight the contribution of EU-funded research to enhancing the civil security and recognises great examples of security research uptake.

The award was presented to CENTRIC’s Director, Professor Babak Akhgar OBE, at the annual Security Research Event in Brussels on 24 October.

On receiving the award, Professor Akhgar OBE said:

“We’re honoured to receive this award for our work on the Cryptopol game alongside Europol.

“Our ongoing collaboration with Europol continues to deliver positive impact in the fight against crime and terrorism, bringing research and innovation into operational reality in support of law enforcement agencies.”

Edvardas Sileris, head of the European Cybercrime Centre:

“Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre is honoured to receive the Security Innovation Award 2023 for Cryptopol, together with CENTRIC. Cryptopol is an innovative and unique way to scale cryptocurrency knowledge within the law enforcement community and the way forward for future capacity building.”

The Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence and Organised Crime Research (CENTRIC) is a multidisciplinary, security focused research centre at Sheffield Hallam University.

CENTRIC collaborates with a number of academic, law enforcement, government and industry partners from across the globe to develop solutions to some of the most pressing security challenges.

CENTRIC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Europol in 2020 to formalise an ongoing partnership on a number of cybersecurity and law enforcement projects.

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