- Bitcoin has been used in illicit activities since its inception.
- The CEO of CoinCorner doesn’t believe it is a good option because Bitcoin is not anonymous.
One of the biggest arguments that opponents of Bitcoin have used to support their disdain is the belief that the cryptocurrency is used by criminals. 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.
Danny Scott, the CEO of the CoinCorner Bitcoin exchange, brought to light a recent case involved in a 31-year old Irish man named Gary Davis. Davis was recently given a 6.5-year sentence for his work in managing Silk Road, a darknet marketplace that is no longer active. Before it was shut down, Silk Road had processed over 1.5 million transactions, totaling over $200 million between January 2011 and October 2013.
Recently, dark web drug dealer Hugh Brian Haney was arrested for laundering over $19 million in the sale of illegal drugs using cryptocurrency on this exchange.
This case, in particular, is what Scott used to support the idea that Bitcoin usage, at least for criminals, is a thing of the past. In a press release provided to CoinTelegraph, Scott stated that the crypto asset simply is “no longer a desirable option for criminals.”
Supporting his statement, Scott brought attention to former investigations involving Bitcoin and the British crime units, showing a decline in the Bitcoin-related crime activity. He also cited finding by Chainalysis, a blockchain intelligence firm, which reported that only 1% of all Bitcoin activity were illicit transactions.
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.