Europe has witnessed zero bitcoin-funded terrorist attacks; report
Bitcoin and other crypto assets were not used in any of the recent terrorist attacks in Europe, finds a study published by the Europol report. The report titled Intenet Organized Threat Assessment 2018 examines areas from cybercrime to child pornography. The study indicated that while criminal abuse based on cryptocurrencies were on the rise Bitcoin has been left out of recent terror attacks in Europe.
Looking back, Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other terrorist groups have all attempted to raise funds through crypto, however, they have not had great success. Yaya Fanusie, director of analysis, Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) highlighted the fact that most terrorists, especially those who serve on “jihadist battlefields,” are currently living in environments where crypto is not operable, which means that fiat use is preferable for buying goods.
Abhinav Pandya in his paper entitled “Cryptocurrencies: A New Scourge of Terror Financing” says that " with the evolution of technology and the sophistication of the much sought-after features of speed, anonymity and non-traceability, and the increasing difficulties in using formal banking systems and hawala, the use of cryptocurrencies for terror-financing might increase and completely alter the landscape of terror financing."
“Yet despite the clear potential, none of the attacks carried out on European soil appear to have been funded via cryptocurrencies. The use of cryptocurrencies by terrorist groups has only involved low-level transactions – their main funding still stems from conventional banking and money remittance services,” read the report.
The report went on to explain that the cryptocurrency users and facilitators have become victims of cybercrimes themselves. Money launderers are taking advantage of the lack of KYC requirements for the creation of an account on an exchange. This implies that decentralization can also benefit criminals as it demands no trust from all the parties involved in a transaction.
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