Much has been said about the use of digital currencies to sponsor crimes all over the world, but Bitcoin and other similar assets have been cleared of any significant involvement, according to a report by Europol.
The recent report which is a 72-page PDF shows in details the degree of involvement of different cryptocurrencies all over the world and how often they are used in Europe in similar illicit activities on the web or internet. The published long-study report is titled Internet Organized Threat Assessment 2018 and contains respective statistics for this year alone.
The illegal activities highlighted and discussed in the report are mostly online crimes and do range from child pornography to ransomware attacks. As the most commonly used digital currency in crimes, Bitcoin was mentioned in a total of 18 pages which is exactly one-fourth of the whole report.
Bitcoin Not Used to Fund Terrorism
Reportedly, there have been incidences of terrorist groups’ sympathizers who campaigned for Bitcoin donations, such as Dawaalhaq Islamic News Agency, Akhbar al- Muslimin, and Isdarat. However, all bitcoin solicitations were mainly targeted at supporting online infrastructures and purchasing hosting servers; Excluding the Sadaq campaign, which called for the recruit of fighters for the war in Syria, and which was crypto funded.
According to the published Europol report, formal banking and remittance services continue to be the preferred method of funding for terrorist activities rather than digital currencies. The report duly stated:
“Yet despite the clear potential, none of the attacks carried out on European soil appear to have been funded via cryptocurrencies. The use of cryptocurrencies by terrorist groups has only involved low-level transactions – their main funding still stems from conventional banking and money remittance services.”
Perhaps, terrorist networks which campaigned for crypto funding where only experimenting with another viable alternative, and considering their options. The report, however, disproves the widespread belief that digital currencies are in use for mainstream Jihadist activities.
The result does not excuse Bitcoin from crimes, however, as Europol published findings that the dominant cryptocurrency, despite not being used for terrorism, is yet the most abused digital asset in support of cybercrimes.