US DEA Says Bitcoin’s Illegal Criminal Activity Use has Dropped Significantly in Past 5 Years
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Says Bitcoin is Dominated by Speculators and Not by Criminals
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the ratio of legal to illegal activity in Bitcoin has changed. The information has been released by Lilita Infante at the DEA.
Indeed, in the past, her analysis at the institution showed that 90% of the transactions in the cryptocurrency space were related to criminal activities. Currently, this number is about 10% because investors speculating in the price have taken the market.
These results do not mean the virtual currencies are not used by criminals, the total transaction volume related to illegal uses surged since 2013. Most of her work is related to the dark web and virtual currency related investigations.
Lilita Infante, commented about it:
“The volume has grown tremendously, the amount of transactions and the dollar value has grown tremendously over the years in criminal activity, but the ratio has decreased. The majority of transactions are used for price speculation.”
Her comments are very important due to the fact that people outside the market believe that virtual currencies are used only by criminals such as during the Silk Road times. Bitcoin uses pseudonymous for the transactions processed, making it difficult to be traced, and they use a decentralized ledger. Additionally, there is no company that can be subpoenaed in an investigation.
The dark web functions exclusively with virtual currencies as it happened in the last years. And indeed, they use different cryptocurrencies such as Monero, that provide more privacy at the time of sending and receiving funds. In this way, they are able to launder money or pay for illegal goods.
Infante has also explained that other currencies offer cheaper fees and faster transaction times, but Bitcoin is still the most used one. Furthermore, Monero or Zcash, with other privacy features included can still be traceable.
Infante said criminals will still use virtual currencies, but she does not seem to have problems about this.
“The blockchain actually gives us a lot of tools to be able to identify people,” she explained. “I actually want them to keep using them.”