Europol examined the usefulness of cryptocurrencies for their use in terrorist activities. It turned out that – despite the stereotypes – digital currencies (including bitcoins) are not used to finance attacks in Europe.
The information was included in the report Intenet Organized Threat Assessment 2018, which investigated various topics of crime in the network: ranging from ransomware attacks through child pornography to just terrorism.
Are you a terrorist? You prefer cash!
The stereotype that bitcoin serves criminals has different sources. Apart from the widespread fact that blockchain-based transactions are anonymous (and therefore seemingly more convenient for terrorists), in the past Akhbar al-Muslimin, Dawaalhaq Islamic News Agency and Isdarat asked for donations in cryptocurrencies. What is interesting, however, did not want to subsidize their attacks in this way, but … to finance their own online infrastructure and hosting servers.
Nevertheless, the new Europol report confirms that cryptocurrencies have not served and have not yet served terrorists to finance their criminal activities or to pay new members.
“However, despite the clear potential, none of the attacks in Europe was financed by cryptocurrencies. Their use by terrorist groups was associated only with minor transactions – their main financing still comes from conventional banking services and money transfers, “we learn from the document.
It follows that terrorists still prefer cash, which casts a new shadow on discussions about the alleged financing of criminals using block-based currencies.
Europol’s support is also the results of a recent report prepared for the Congress. American experts also did not identify the use of cryptocurrencies in terrorist activities.
Europol reasonably suggests in the document that the proper means of combating the financing of terrorist offenses are rather: the fight against internet propaganda, closer coordination and exchange of information between law enforcement agencies and focusing on counteracting cyber attacks.
Cryptocurrencies ideal for cybercriminals?
However, you must honestly admit that although cryptocurrencies do not serve terrorists, they can be of help to cybercriminals. Today they play an important role in paying for cybercrime. Their thefts are also a good way for efficient hackers for fast and relatively easy earnings. Especially if we’re talking about currencies that guarantee anonymity.