is bitcoin really used for illegal activities?

Is Bitcoin Really Used for Illegal Activities?

With the name Bitcoin, a wave of thousands of thoughts just ran through your mind. The popularity, whether it’s constructive or destructive made it so.

Today, Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency holding more than 40% market share of the whole crypto market and it has been growing for years now.

It has single-handedly kept the market in control for so long that a subtle movement in its graph causes a tremendous market mood change.

Pie Chart showing market dominance of Bitcoin

With so much power, there also comes its misuse and dark side. It is so often blamed for its use in illegal activities.

A naive user always wonders how such a financial asset can be used in crime. Well, there are several purposes served with the help of this market messiah, like-

  • Ransomware blackmail cases
  • Tax Evasion
  • Money Laundering
  • Terror financing
  • Drug and arms dealing
  • Human trafficking and other dark web tradings.

Where on the surface web is a great market for investing money, on the other hand, it is the spine of the dark web economy which is unknown to the governing bodies.

According to an estimation by Chainalysis, the Bitcoin used for illegal activities is worth 10 billion USD.

But what are the possible reasons to use it for such things?

Reasons to use Bitcoin for illicit activities

  • Anonymity

One of the most vital advantages of crypto transactions is you can send it without being exposed to the authority. You need not have KYC at some bank and submit all your documents. You can operate your money while being anonymous and that’s the most attractive feature for criminals.

  • 0 trust issues

Unlike bank transfers, no third party is involved in the transactions and lesser the nodes more secure the transaction.

  • High Access and Speed

Transactions for bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies need just the internet and a device. You can send millions of dollars in a few seconds at your fingertips. 

  • Easy to store and Transfer

Imagine Pablo Escobar in today’s era. He need not store his cash underground, he would have just needed a digital ledger to store and deal in millions. Well, that’s how today’s new Pablo’s dealing.

  • Easy global trade

Conventionally, global trade is considered a headache, but the problem is solved by Crypto.

Talking about the illegal cryptocurrency trade we must mention Monero another more anonymous token which is getting popular in the illegal mafias and is being predicted to cross bitcoin in the same in the coming few years. It is even less traceable than bitcoin. Yes, you read it right even Bitcoin leaves a faint trace behind and could be traced.


Is Bitcoin just used for illegal activities?

The answer is yes, but the amount in negligible and is decreasing.

According to a report by Chainalysis, only 2.1% of total Bitcoin transactions is used for Illegal activities in 2019, which however is equivalent to 21.4 Billion USD.

But the figure drastically falls to 0.34% (10 Billion USD) in 2020 and the same downward trend is expected in future. Bitcoin Usages Distribution Over Years

Concluding, Bitcoin is used for unlawful business but that’s the not only purpose it serves. It brings the new era where finance and technology come together to make a change. It is still in an evolving phase and sooner or later the misuse of the same could be controlled. It’s pointless to blame the currency.

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