”Bitcoin is a currency for criminals.” That is what people, who are not familiar with bitcoin, think.
All major media channels have, at some point, brought an article in which they contribute to destroying Bitcoins reputation, and the average Joe living next door will eat the misleading information raw.
Of course some criminals use Bitcoin, that is not up for discussion, but the countless articles about how bad bitcoin is; Criminals use Bitcoin to move $ 72 billion a year, research suggests, Bitcoin used by CRIMINALS to launder illegal funds, Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on the Dark Web, all they are doing is harming a project, that was made to help people and solve major issues.
Bitcoin is used among criminals, but so is the U.S dollar, and even to a far greater extent. 90 percent of U.S. bills carry traces of cocaine. Furthermore, HSBC Holdings Plc agreed to pay a record $1.92 billion in fines to U.S. authorities for allowing itself to be used to launder a river of drug money flowing out of Mexico and other banking lapses. If you google “Currency for criminals”, the majority of the hits will be about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Why is that? Because the media is in charge.
Fortunately, a new study made by Elliptic, who specializes in identifying illicit activity on the Bitcoin blockchain and provide actionable intelligence to financial institutions and law enforcement agencies, finds less than 1% of Bitcoin transactions to exchanges are illicit.
“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) as seen in 2013.”
The study also pointed out, that credit cards, wire transfers etc. are also being used for illicit activity.
“Alternative payment methods bring new illicit finance risks when they are introduced to the public, but survive and eventually flourish when safeguards develop to address (but never fully eliminate) their criminal use. Credit cards, online banking, wire transfers, and cash transactions all have been and continue to be used for crime.”
The report will for sure benefit the reputation of Bitcoin, and we can only hope, that people outside the cryptocurrency space, soon will see the true potential of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.