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Is Bitcoin being used by criminals?
Yes, like every form of money, Bitcoin is being used by criminals for their illegal activities.
However, …Most criminals want to keep their activities low-key and untraceable. Even though many transactions have been performed during the past on the black market with cryptocurrency, this is finally fading, due to the lack of anonymity. What does the latest research show?
While it is true that many cybercriminals have involved Bitcoin in money laundering and other activities, statements from the CEO of CoinCorner suggest that criminals aren’t seeing it as a good option anymore.
Bitcoin isn’t truly anonymous, the CEO argued, because all of the transactions stay on the blockchain forever, making it pseudonymous, if anything. With these stakes, Bitcoin is essentially a
“poor choice of currency for criminals.”
At the beginning of this month, Bloomberg had used Chainalysis research to show that the amount of Bitcoin used in these illegal transactions could still reach a high of $1 billion, even though the criminal activity is drastically dropping.
This report stated that, as of right now, approximately $515 million worth of Bitcoin has been used in illicit activities.
A new study finds less than 1% of Bitcoin transactions to exchanges are illicit.
Elliptic, a UK firm that provides blockchain analysis tools for law enforcement, has released an analysis of the global market for money laundering through Bitcoin. Based on available blockchain forensic data, their analysis found that only a tiny percentage of transactions to exchanges were from illicit sources:
According to our study, the total percentage of identified “dirty bitcoins” going into conversion services was relatively small. Only 0.61 percent of the money entering conversion services during the four years analyzed were verifiably from illicit sources, with the highest proportion (1.07 percent) seen in 2013.
Further, those transactions that were illicit tended to appear disproportionately in Europe:
Roughly a quarter of all incoming transactions went into Europe in 2015 and 2016, but 38 percent and 57 percent of all illicit transactions, respectively, went to European services during those years. Thus, Europe hosted a disproportionate amount of illicit activity.
One of the report’s recommendations for governments and cryptocurrency businesses to address this issue is through strengthening European AML practices and expanding them to include coin-to-coin exchanges, emulating the 2013 FinCEN guidance that applies in the United States. Read the full report here.
Bitcoin’s antifraud properties even extend into the physical world of retail stores and shoppers.
you are happy because there is no way for hackers to steal any of your personal information; and organized crime is unhappy. But even if they succeed, consumers bear no risk of loss, fraud or identity theft.)
Finally, I’d like to address the claim made by some critics that Bitcoin is a haven for bad behavior, for criminals and terrorists to transfer money anonymously with impunity. This is a myth, fostered mostly by sensationalistic press coverage and an incomplete understanding of the technology. Much like email, which is quite traceable, Bitcoin is pseudonymous, not anonymous. Further, every transaction in the Bitcoin network is tracked and logged forever in the Bitcoin blockchain, or permanent record, available for all to see. As a result, Bitcoin is considerably easier for law enforcement to trace than cash, gold or diamonds.
A new study finds less than 1% of Bitcoin transactions to exchanges are illicit yet the myth of “Cryptocurrency is mostly usedbycriminals” persists. (link: https://lnkd.in/es4Vy75) lnkd.in/es4Vy75(link: https://lnkd.in/e3R6474) lnkd.in/e3R6474