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Author Topic: [2018-04-17] Report: Less Than 1% of Bitcoin Used for Illegal Purposes  (Read 40 times)
Terraformer
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April 17, 2018, 12:07:51 PM
 #1

Cryptocurrencies are regularly accused of causing “deaths in a fairly direct way” (as Bill Gates put it). A report released by The Foundation for Defense of Democracies found that less than one percent of Bitcoin is used for illegal purposes.

Bitcoin Not as Criminal as Some Might Think

Aaron Shamo, a 28-year-old Bitcoin enthusiast who became a millionaire since the cryptocurrency rally in late 2017, was found to be a drug dealer, according to the police. Shamo has allegedly trafficked fentanyl, a powerful opioid, which may have caused 28 fatal overdoses and is now in prison awaiting trial. He has pleaded not guilty as he faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted.

The modus operandi of the alleged drug ring used Bitcoin as the means of payment. “We have switched to bitcoin payments only. Now you will enjoy a 10 percent less price tag on all products. Good part is that paying by bitcoin you can order as much as you like with no limit”, said an e-mail from the dealer.

Law enforcement found six websites offering fentanyl and all of them listed Bitcoin as the preferred method of payment. “Because it’s anonymous, it’s the currency of choice for these drug traffickers,” said Ohio Republican Rob Portman, head of a Senate committee investigating the matter. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called the use of Bitcoin on the dark web “a big problem.”

Most cryptocurrency advocates dismiss the argument that Bitcoin is a problem. “Blaming Bitcoin for this crisis would make as much sense as blaming the internet or cars that drug traffickers have to use”, said Perianne Boring, president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

The anonymity argument is also problematic as buying Bitcoin requires real money and cryptocurrency exchanges now collect personal information from users, who also need to convert their Bitcoin back into fiat for consumer spending. “At some point, Bitcoin is only as good as where you can spend it. You look at where the currency enters the mainstream financial system in order to get spent”, said a Justice Department official.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a foreign policy think tank, released a report that found less than one percent of Bitcoin is used for illegal purposes and almost all of the illicit activity came from transactions on the dark web;

“Better privacy may be a critical feature for legal cryptocurrency use to grow, but this must be balanced with the need for law enforcement to be able to trace transactions in some circumstances,”

Tom Robinson, Chief Data Officer at Elliptic, said the report

“demonstrates the transparency of the Bitcoin blockchain, and the analytical techniques that can be used by law enforcement to trace and apprehend cybercriminals, and by financial institutions to prevent the reintroduction of this dirty money into the mainstream financial system.”

Crime has existed long before Bitcoin and will continue to leverage new technologies to its own benefit.

https://www.newsbtc.com/2018/04/17/report-less-1-bitcoin-used-illegal-purposes/


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April 17, 2018, 12:43:57 PM
 #2

Interesting. Probably people used bitcoin before for different kinds of illegal transactions, criminal one as well, but today like every one knows that bitcoin can be trucked and only an idiot will do something illegal with bitcoin's help. I think nowadays bitcoin give to people some extra cash which is actually going for better life, new house, new car, new smartphone or repairing of old ones. I do not get from crypto a lot, so that profit is going on some extra needs which appear unexpected as by some naughty law.

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April 17, 2018, 02:11:14 PM
 #3

Finally, an article wrote with some common sense...
From the last couple of months (probably since the hype), I've got tired of reading about how bitcoin is the evil itself and the currency for assassins, scammers, drug-dealers, and all kind of "bad ones".
For example, in the most important newspaper from Spain, they began talking about how some scammers had robbed the bank system more than a million euros. The finished the article writing nonsenses about how dangerous can BTC be, due to the use of the crypto for money-laundering. Nonsense.
It has been the general mood on the press since the last time, so I'm glad about this article.
Probably it will not get as viral as the Bitcoin-haters ones, for the truth is said in there and it doesn't seem to be of interest right now.

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April 17, 2018, 04:09:38 PM
 #4

almost all of the illicit activity came from transactions on the dark web
If most of Bitcoin's illegal activity is on the darknet and most of this darknet activity is the buying and selling of illegal goods and services, I wonder how much of Bitcoin's legal activity involves the purchase of goods and services.

Using the 1% figure assumes that Bitcoin's primary use is as a currency, but I would say that the majority of "users" at this point are speculators.  If we cut them out, the figure would be dramatically higher.

Still, some estimates suggest that perhaps even the majority of cash is used for illegal purposes in some countries, so I suspect the crime rate for cash is higher than that of Bitcoin even if you decide to cut out speculators.  Bitcoin certainly isn't the safe haven for crime that it's sometimes thought to be anyway.

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April 17, 2018, 04:30:27 PM
 #5

I was not surprised reading about this. I mean, to this day, I have made maybe several hundred transactions, and received several hundred more. Okay, maybe less than half of that is Bitcoin, but not even once have I come across illegal purposes on internet (I do not surf darkmarkets). On the other hand, you can pay for a lot of naughty things online with good old US dollars.

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April 17, 2018, 04:32:33 PM
 #6

This has always been overstated.  An idea based on an idea is not a fact.

The gospel according to Satoshi - https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Free bitcoin in AFRICA - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2710325.msg27720734
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April 17, 2018, 04:57:56 PM
 #7

Market is full of interesting altcoins, which are more interesting in dark use because of their safety. I don't know, who will use bitcoin for doing illegal stuff, it seems stupid
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April 17, 2018, 09:07:46 PM
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Market is full of interesting altcoins, which are more interesting in dark use because of their safety. I don't know, who will use bitcoin for doing illegal stuff, it seems stupid
Some people still use it because of price stability. For example Monero or DeepOnion might be more stealth and anonymous, but if you are a seller and sell larger amounts, you need to exchange those altcoins to fiat so you are able to buy material or whatever. And altcoins usually fluctuate even more than bitcoin so there is more risk for you as seller. Also if there is not enough volume and buy orders for your altcoin, you might crash the price by yourself if you have larger amount of coins to sell.

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