Nathaniel Popper Says Bitcoin’s Online Payments Fell but Dark Web Activity Rose in 2018


As bitcoin’s popularity and use has been increasing, so have questions concerning whether and when regulation will take place. At this point, the United States’ regulations are like a “patchwork” at best.

The absence of a solid regulatory system may be a driving force behind an increase in purchases on the dark web. According to an article by The Next Web, dark web bitcoin transactions doubled in 2018.

Further, Nathaniel Popper, a journalist at the New York Times, conducted and complied research on the magnitude of bitcoin dark web use. He discussed in a recent set of tweets that even though there are a number of promising use-cases for BTC, illegal transactions drive adoption.

He stated: “But there are things to worry about. While online payments using Bitcoin declined last year, Bitcoin purchases on the dark net grew steadily, according to data pulled together for us by Chainalysis. Transactions related to theft and hacking grew even faster,” Popper explained, referencing a chart that shows the significant amount of money being sent to dark net markets each month.”

The question that arises is whether regulatory scrutiny will be able to increase transactions on the dark web to a legal marketplace.

This could be the case, however the underlying assumption that must be true here is that bitcoin is generally perceived as a tool for illegal activity and that is the reason that people are concerned about adopting it.

It seems to be unlikely though, considering that bitcoin seems to have forged a place on the legal marketplace, thus showing people that it is a legitimate option for transactions.

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