New RAND Report ‘Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies’: No Crypto Asset is Suitable for Criminal Threats

It is no secret that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are already disrupting the world. While most of us generally see the more positive side of how the world is being disrupted by this revolutionary technology, there are others which are not so optimistic. This is the case of RAND, an anti-terrorist organization.

RAND has recently created a new report titled:

“Terrorist Use of Cryptocurrencies: Technical and Organizational Barriers and Future Threats”.

In this new report, the company tries to answer two important questions: whether terrorists are actually using cryptos to operate and whether there is a clear risk that this may happen in the future.

The first part of the report actually affirmed that no, Al Qaeda, ISIS, and all these terrorist organizations are not using cryptos at the moment. Despite the fact that cryptos can be used in an anonymous and secure way, especially if you use a privacy coin like Monero, there seems to be no current evidence that cryptos are actually being adopted by any major terrorist organization now.

This, however, could change very soon, which is what actually concerns RAND on the report.

Cryptos Could Be Used By Terrorists In The Future

While the company was not able to find real evidence that terrorists are using Bitcoin, Monero or any other crypto, they sure seem to believe that the development of this technology has the potential to attract terrorists.

RAND argues that cryptocurrencies would need to have many characteristics which are common to the venues that terrorists generally use. They are the fact that they are usable, secure, accepted, reliable, have a high volume and, most of all, they can be anonymous.

At the moment, however, none of the tokens (not even Monero!) are actually at the operational level that they would be safe enough for the terrorists. The “relative anonymity” of the cryptos were not deemed enough to keep all the costs of financing a terrorist organization anonymously.

The problem with tokens like Zcash and Monero, then, is that they are not as widely accepted as Bitcoin. They may even be very secure and private, but they are simply not as liquid and popular.

In the future, however, we all believe that cryptos will be more popular and effective, which is something that RAND also believes and it is worried about this. If one token can be widespread and be completely anonymous or inconsistently regulated, RAND argues that it could become the perfect tool for terrorists.

However, the organization also understand that several factors like infighting in the crypto community and regulation could dissuade terrorists to use these tokens.

In any case, it looks like we are still years away from seeing cryptos being widely used by terrorists and that is the worst case scenario.

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