Since Bitcoin’s inception in 2009, it’s been connected to criminal activity from tax evasion to the dark web. While many user of cryptocurrency stick to legitimate transactions, the technology itself makes crypto perfect for crime.
Bitcoin’s creator goes by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, and after almost ten years, their true identity remain unknown. That same anonymity is given to user of cryptocurrency, who can hold coin and engage in transactions without ever revealing their identity.
Bitcoin was used as the primary currency on the darknet site Silk Road, which specialized in online drug sales until it was shut down in 2013. Other darknet sites offer weapons, forged passports, and even hired killers. Bitcoin is also a favorite of ransomware hackers, who demand payment in exchange for returning control of the victim’s computer.
Every cryptocurrency transaction is recorded in the blockchain, a public ledger of activity. While the anonymity afforded to users make tracking transactions difficult, law enforcement agencies have begun partnering with analytics firms to trace illicit funds through the public ledger.
As governments crack down on illegal use of cryptocurrency, criminals are switch coins. Rather than stick with Bitcoin, new currencies are popping up that additional security by making the blockchain private to stop government tracking. Learn more from this infographic.
Infographic via: NullTX